Reports: Arsenal interested in signing £40 million Barcelona star as Ozil replacement
What's the story?
January promises to be a tumultuous month for Arsenal. With Alexis Sanchez all set to exit and the future of Mesut Ozil being subjected to intense speculation, there is a lot of pressure on Arsene Wenger to act in the January transfer window and sign a quality replacement.
Now, reports in Don Balon (via The Express) claim that the Gunners have made an offer for Barcelona's Rafinha. The 24-year-old midfielder has not made a single appearance for Barcelona this season largely due to a long-term injury.
However, with the versatile midfielder now fit and ready to play, clubs like Inter Milan, Celta Vigo and Arsenal have all been credited with an interest in signing the Barcelona man.
In case you didn't know...
Having suffered a horrendous knee injury last season, Rafinha has finally overcome his many injury problems and is close to match fitness. When asked about Rafinha's future, Valverde seemed keen on giving the player a chance:
"In the case of Rafinha, he has not been able to do a workout," Valverde said
“Yesterday was the first time he went out to work with the group, I'm looking forward to seeing him train, I've only seen him as an opponent, we want him to help us.”
With Coutinho arriving and Paulinho in fine form, opportunities for Rafinha at Barcelona certainly looks limited.
The heart of the matter
With Ozil not yet having signed a new contract, there is a very real possibility of losing out on the German superstar for free at the end of the season. While Thomas Lemar has been talked about as a marquee signing, Rafinha is also a quality player and can make a telling contribution if he manages to stay fit.
The Catalan giants have not missed the services of the Brazilian midfielder so far and a bid of close to £35-£40 million could convince the Catalan giants to cash in on the versatile 24-year-old.
Also read: Wenger confirms Coquelin move to Valencia
The Barcelona man is certainly capable of producing moments of magic.
While Rafinha is definitely suited to Arsenal's style of play, there is no denying the fact that he is nowhere close to Mesut Ozil's level at the moment. Arsenal should sign Rafinha and look for another quality signing to make up for the potential loss of the German superstar.