Man Utd increase hope of shock Barcelona signing to rub salt into wounds of two rivals

Raphinha, Ansu Fati Barcelona Credit: Alamy
Raphinha, Ansu Fati Barcelona Credit: Alamy

Manchester United are considering a dramatic bid for a Barcelona forward on deadline day, it has been claimed, which would annoy not just one, but potentially two of their arch-rivals.

Man Utd have made two loan signings so far in the January transfer window. First, they brought in Jack Butland from Crystal Palace after Newcastle recalled Martin Dubravka. Then, they added Wout Weghorst from Burnley to strengthen their attack.

There could yet be another reinforcement for their frontline if claims early on deadline day are accurate.

According to the Daily Mirror, Man Utd are showing an interest in a “shock swoop” for Barcelona winger Raphinha.

Barcelona only signed the Brazilian in the summer from Leeds United. However, they are having to be patient to see the best of him.

In his Barcelona spell so far, Raphinha has only scored twice from 17 La Liga appearances. In all competitions, he has four goals – and seven assists – from 27 outings.

There have been some rumours that Raphinha’s stay in Catalonia could only last for six months. He has been linked with Arsenal at various points throughout the January transfer window.

However, after winning the Supercopa De Espana with the club, Raphinha vowed that he wanted to experience more success in Spain.

And when Arsenal took Leandro Trossard from Brighton instead, it seemed as if the speculation regarding Raphinha would quieten down for a while.

But now, on the morning of deadline day, the 26-year-old has become the subject of a new link – with Man Utd.

According to the Daily Mirror, Barcelona could make Raphinha available as they aim to balance the books before trying to sign someone like Manchester City midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan.

Obviously, they are different types of players, but Barcelona are working out what they need the most. The chance to sign Gundogan for free appeals, so they are hoping to make room in their wage structure.

Man Utd spot Raphinha transfer chance

As a consequence, Raphinha could be be on borrowed time already. In turn, Man Utd might make a dramatic late bid that would only add to the hurt caused to their rivals Leeds after Raphinha’s most recent transfer if successful.

The former Rennes man should be under contract with Barcelona until 2027. However, his current employers might have a decision to make if Man Utd suddenly approach them.

Interest in Raphinha from the Red Devils’ part stems from the possibility that younger wingers like Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri could be loaned out pending an appropriate offer.

It would replenish their depth in the final third, while theoretically offering more instant quality. If Raphinha could do as well as he did with Leeds – for whom he scored 17 goals in 67 games, also providing 12 assists – his return to English football might be a happier one.

It is not yet clear what kind of offer might tempt Barcelona into parting ways with Raphinha.

But if Man Utd can get a deal over the line, they would definitely be upsetting one enemy in the shape of Leeds. Moreover, the potential consequence of local rivals Man City losing Gundogan could be an added benefit.

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