Raphinha reveals Arsenal admiration after £89m transfer swoop collapsed
Barcelona winger Raphinha has namechecked Arsenal as one club he admires - only weeks after the Gunners made an audacious swoop to sign the Brazilian.
Talk of a January transfer deal failed to turn into reality as the Blaugrana slapped an £89million price tag on their summer signing, who reportedly refused to contemplate leaving the Camp Nou.
In a conversation with Adri Contreras on TikTok, Raphinha was asked what club other than Barcelona in Spain he enjoys watching - yet he quickly replied: “Barcleona.”
The 26-year-old was then asked for any teams outside of LaLiga, to which he said: “I love Arsenal.”
Paris Saint-Germain were also named by Raphinha as a team he likes, where his pal Neymar plays. The PSG star reportedly urged the club to sign Raphinha before Barcelona completed a deal last year.
Next up for Raphinha and Barcelona is a trip to Manchester United in the Europa League on Thursday.
The attacker was rested from the starting line-up that beat Cadiz on the weekend having scored in the play-off first leg, although he reacted angrily to be substituted late on in the 2-2 draw.
“I understand it perfectly,” Xavi said when asked about Raphinha’s reaction. “It’s happened to me before.
“But I [made the change] for the good of the team, never to single him out. Now he has apologised but he doesn't have to. I told him, ‘Calm down, I understand you’.
“What would be bad is if he happy about coming off. That’s the attitude. I don't see it as negative, I see it in a very positive way because he wants to be here, to play.
“I always tell them that they have to get angry. A bad attitude, no, but they have to get angry and, if they want, insult me.”