Raphinha - Barcelona winger
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Premier League clubs face Saudi competition in Raphinha race

Premier League clubs interested in signing Barcelona winger Raphinha are facing strong competition from the Middle East with Al-Hilal preparing a big bid for the Brazilian.

Raphinha has been linked with a return to English football in recent weeks after struggling to command a regular role in the Barcelona team this season, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United among the clubs credited with interest in signing the former Leeds United star.

 

Barcelona will consider the sale of the 27-year-old, as the cash-strapped Catalans look to raise funds. The Spanish champions are around €200m over the spending cap that has been enforced on the club from La Liga and Raphinha’s sale would reduce that number significantly.

Sport are reporting that Al-Hilal – who signed Brazilian teammate Neymar last summer – want to bring Raphinha to the Saudi Pro League and are prepared to spend €100m (£85m) to do so.

Raphinha wants to remain at Barcelona, despite making just 12 starts in La Liga this season, but the impact his sale would have on the club’s financial issues is difficult to ignore.

The emergence of Lamine Yamal has also lessened Barcelona’s direct need for Raphinha, who has fallen behind the 16-year-old in the pecking order.

 

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