Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez has given clarity on the futures of Raphinha and Memphis Depay amidst reported interest from Arsenal and Atletico Madrid, respectively.
Barca signed the Brazil international last summer from Leeds United for a fee of €65 million. The Dutch forward, meanwhile, arrived at Spotify Camp Nou on a free transfer from Olympique Lyonnais in the summer of 2021.
Both are now linked with an exit from the Blaugrana. As per the Evening Standard, Arsenal are now keen to sign Raphinha after being beaten by Chelsea in the race for Mykhaylo Mudryk.
Depay, meanwhile, has been linked with a move to Atletico Madrid. Apparently, Los Colchoneros have even offered Thomas Lemar to Barcelona in a potential swap deal involving the Dutchman.
When pressed on Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha, Xavi told reporters (h/t SPORT):
“I am very happy with the players, I don’t want anyone to leave. Another thing is if a player wants to leave, then we talk to him and try to understand his situation. It is normal for those who play less to want to play more.”
Raphinha, who is contracted to Barca until the summer of 2027, has provided just two goals and as many assists in 15 La Liga games.
While the Brazilian struggles for form, Depay is battling to get any sort of playing time under the Spanish tactician. He has played just 116 minutes of league football this term – a dismal tally for a striker who represents the Netherlands at international level.
Speaking about the former Manchester United forward’s future at Barca, Xavi continued:
“We’ve had two days off and today I’ll talk to Memphis. It’s a personal decision. It shouldn’t be an easy situation, he’s not participating, it’s not easy, I understand him.”
Interest from Arsenal and Atletico Madrid provides Barcelona with two financial opportunities
By selling Depay and Raphinha amidst interest from Atletico Madrid and Arsenal, Barcelona stand to make a profit on the two deals.
Depay was, of course, a free transfer, and selling him in January will be their best, and perhaps only, chance to rake in a fee for him. He is, after all, in the last six months of his contract.
Raphinha, meanwhile, cost them a fair bit of money. He hasn’t quite lived up to the hype and as per a separate report from SPORT, could cost any potential suitor €100 million in transfer fees.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta is apparently not interested in selling him but could do business if the nine-digit asking price is met. If they retain Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati in the near future, Raphinha’s potential departure may not sting much and could bring in a handsome amount of cash.