It is an open secret that La Liga table-toppers Barcelona are exploring ways to bring Lionel Messi back to Camp Nou. Now reports suggest that the Catalan giants are open to selling Raphinha in order to facilitate the return of Messi. A lucrative offer for Raphinha from one of Premier League’s money-fuelled clubs could see the Brazilian winger on a plane to England, reported AS.
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Barcelona has officially maintained that Raphinha is not up for sale. But it is no secret that clubs like Arsenal, Tottenham and even Newcastle are trying to court him. Barcelona’s board is willing to sell the 26-year-old if they receive a significant return on the player which should likely be around £55million. The economic benefits from Raphinha’s sale will assist Barcelona in pulling further strings in ‘Operation Messi’.
The fact is that many fans and executives at the club are said to be disappointed with Raphinha’s lacklustre performance. The Brazilian has managed nine goals and 10 assists in 42 appearances for Barcelona so far. While this is a decent record, fans expected more from the ex-Leeds United forward during his first Spanish campaign.
Barcelona signed Raphinha from Leeds United for £ 55 million last year. Raphinha’s contract is valid up to 2027 and his signing is still to be amortized by 80 per cent. But that won’t stop Barcelona from selling Raphinha to try to accommodate Messi.
Meanwhile, it seems that the stars are aligning for Lionel Messi to return to his beloved club. Messi’s future at Parc des Princes is looking very uncertain since Paris Saint-Germain were knocked out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich last month.
Besides, PSG have been trying to resign Messi since Argentina’s World Cup success in Qatar. Many fans even thought that it was a foregone conclusion that the talismanic striker would extend his contract with PSG beyond the summer of 2023. But PSG has not been able to come to an agreement with the seven-time Balon d’Or winner.
If Barcelona can make huge economic savings and improve their financial situation, then Messi’s return to his old club cannot be ruled out. La Liga’s strict Financial Fair Play controls will also influence any potential Barcelona bid for Messi.