Tactical Insights

Arsenal ‘plotting double Barcelona swoop for Raphinha, Torres’

Arsenal reportedly plot an ambitious double deal for Barcelona wingers Raphinha and Ferran Torres during the summer transfer window.

Arsenal are reportedly eyeing an audacious double swoop for Barcelona attackers Raphinha and Ferran Torres in the summer transfer window.

The duo are thought to be at risk of the axe at Camp Nou, as the cash-strapped Blaugrana are once again under pressure to trim their wage bill by ten of millions of pounds ahead of next season.

Only a handful of players are thought to have been labelled untouchable by Barcelona, a list which includes 16-year-old attacker Lamine Yamal as well as Pedri, Gavi, Frenkie de Jong and Ronald Araujo.

The reigning La Liga champions are thought to be open to suitable offers for every other senior player in their ranks, and significant income could be generated through the sales of Raphinha and Torres.

According to HITC, Barcelona have now made the wingers available for transfer during the summer window, and Arsenal harbour ambitions of bringing both of them to the Emirates for 2023-24.

Barcelona attacker Ferran Torres on January 31, 2024© Reuters

The Gunners, alongside Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur, were one of the teams hoping to prise Raphinha away from Leeds United in the summer of 2022, a race which was eventually won by Barcelona.

La Blaugrana paid just shy of £50m to bring the 27-year-old to Camp Nou, since when he has amassed a respectable 15 goals and 20 assists from 74 matches across all competitions, winning the La Liga title in his debut season.

Raphinha has five goals and eight assists to show from 24 games in 2023-24, but he has been hampered by a couple of muscular injuries and has only started nine games in La Liga.

Despite his long-running contract until 2027, the former Rennes winger should be allowed to move on for the right fee, and a return to the Premier League is the most likely outcome for the South American.

The report adds that Arsenal’s North London rivals Tottenham could reignite their interest in Raphinha, who is also on the radar of Liverpool, West Ham United and Newcastle United.

Ferran Torres in action for Barcelona on October 9, 2022© Reuters

Meanwhile, Torres has allegedly been told by Barcelona that they will listen to bids for his signature over the summer, just two-and-a-half years after his arrival from Manchester City in January 2022.

The Spain international joined the Premier League champions following Mikel Arteta‘s exit for Arsenal, but he is thought to be rated highly by the Gunners boss, who is particularly attracted to his versatility.

Torres has played centrally and on both wings for Barcelona, banking 25 goals and 13 assists in 103 fixtures, including 11 goals and four assists from 32 outings in the current campaign.

Torres’s contributions include a hat-trick and assist in a 4-2 La Liga crushing of Real Betis in January, but he has also earned just 10 La Liga starts this season and has been sidelined since the start of February with a hamstring injury.

The 24-year-old will miss Sunday’s clash with Athletic Bilbao, but Xavi is hopeful that he will be back from his issue in time for next Friday’s trip to Mallorca.

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