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Lionel Messi opens door for Arsenal to sign long-term target

Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Raphinha.

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Image Credit: Getty Images

Arsenal have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Raphinha as Barcelona opens the door for the Brazilian to leave at the end of the season.

Arsenal are lining-up a bid for Barcelona winger Raphinha in the summer transfer window as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his attacking options.

With Champions League football now secured for next season, Mikel Arteta is keen to add quality in depth to his Arsenal squad this summer, with a number of Barcelona players on his radar.

Raphinha has 13 goal contributions in 30 appearances in La Liga this season & has played a key role in helping the club to the summit of the La Liga table, 11 points clear of arch-rivals and defending champions Real Madrid.

Arsenal tried to sign Raphinha when he was Leeds United, before he moved to Spain last summer. A deal was close to being agreed at one point, until Chelsea & Barcelona entered the race in which Arsenal turned to other targets as they didn’t want to overpay for the Brazilian.

Raphinha of Barcelona. [Image Credit: Getty Images]

That hasn’t prevented the Gunners keeping a close eye on the player while in Spain this season and are seemingly ready to renew their interest.

The Catalans are looking to seal a sensational return for Lionel Messi at the end of this campaign as he considers his future. Messi has refused to sign a new PSG deal and it seems obvious he wants to return to Spain ahead of next season.

However, the Catalans must sell some players to make room for his arrival on their wage bill, as the Spanish giants are still struggling financially.

According to Football Insider, Barcelona are open to cashing in on Raphinha and some other players in order to make way for Lionel Messi’s return, handing Arsenal a boost in their bid to sign the Brazilian this summer.

Bukayo Saka has started every Premier League game for Arsenal in 2022/23, however with more games to be played next season, Mikel Arteta is keen to add some quality in depth behind the Gunners’ main man, with Barcelona’s Raphinha one option the club are looking at.

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