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Transfer Dilemma Looms for Barcelona as Saudi Clubs Ramp Up Interest in Raphinha

Raphinha / Getty Images
Raphinha / Getty Images

Despite Barcelona’s resistance to sell, ongoing Saudi interest in Raphinha persists.

The ‘Raphinha saga’ continues. Despite the sporting management’s announcement that the club had no intention of parting ways with Raphinha, and had ignored all offers received in the summer and January transfer windows, Saudi football remains persistent, aiming to secure the Brazilian winger starting July 1st.

According to SPORT, Barcelona received a new offer from Arabia for their ‘number 11’ this past week, without a response yet from the Catalan entity, understandable given the season’s crucial phase. However, the offer’s staggering figures could challenge the club’s previously firm stance, as it significantly exceeds the valuation set by Barcelona for the Brazilian international, originally at 80 million euros.

Raphinha, who joined from Leeds United in the summer of 2022 for 57 million euros, signed a five-season contract, two of which will be amortized by June 30th. His current wage stands around 5.5 million euros net per season. This latest offer from Arabia materializes what several intermediaries, working with Saudi clubs of various nationalities, had foreseen, presenting a potential dilemma for Barcelona. Regardless of Barcelona’s performance and achievements under Xavi Hernández for the remainder of the season, the club acknowledges the necessity of significant sales in the upcoming summer to balance the books, with Raphinha emerging as a key asset amid Saudi interest. While Raphinha has expressed his desire to continue wearing the Blaugrana jersey, recent developments hint at potential shifts in the situation once the current season concludes.

Saudi football giants, including Al-Hilal, Al-Nassr, Al-Ittihad, and Al-Ahli, all predominantly owned by the Public Investment Fund (PIF), are intensifying their pursuit of the Brazilian winger, recognizing his stature as a top European player and a regular in the Brazilian national team, hinting at a possible transfer saga unfolding post-season.