Newcastle are “still interested” in signing Barcelona winger Raphinha, according to Sport.
The Brazilian international was a target for the Magpies last summer but Barca opted to keep him at the Camp Nou, despite being under the pressure to sell players due to Financial Fair Play rules.
Raphinha’s performances during his second season at the La Liga champions have not met expectations so far, though, and there could be a reassessment of his situation at the end of the season.
The 26-year-old has scored 2 goals and provided 3 assists in 11 appearances, and that is not considered a great return. One mitigating factor is that he did suffer a muscular injury in October, which kept him sidelined for a month.
Yet, Raphinha has been in contention for the majority of games and it could simply be the case that manager Xavi doesn’t see him as a key part of his first-team plans. The forward has only started five games in all competitions.
Newcastle may have to battle a rival Premier League club for Raphinha
Sport claim that the Brazilian is also still on Chelsea’s radar. The Blues lost out to Barca when the player opted to make the move to Spain for £55m last year.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side have since signed Cole Palmer from Manchester City to strengthen the right wing, so we shall have to see if their interest in Raphinha remains strong.
Raphinha is reluctant to leave
Another possible issue that Newcastle are likely to face is the wishes of the player. Although Barcelona may be willing to sell, Raphinha is not thought to be considering a potential departure from the Catalan club at the moment.
However, if his game time doesn’t improve between now and next summer, the winger may have a change of heart.