Man Utd could seal late swoop for Raphinha
Manchester United have been linked with an audacious transfer bid for Barcelona phenomenon Raphinha, who could be subject to an official bid before the conclusion of the deadline day dealings…
What’s the talk?
While the Red Devils have yet to shed any serious expenditure this winter, rumours have materialised in the final hours of the transfer window linking them with a move for the Brazil forward.
According to The Mirror, Anthony Elanga and Facundo Pellistri could both be granted loan departures from Old Trafford before the end of the day, which consequently clears space for a major signing in attack.
The 26-year-old had previously been credited with an interest in coming to the Theatre of Dreams, as per The Express, and a deal could now be rekindled.
Having signed for the Blaugrana for £55m in the summer, the Brazilian maestro has struggled to channel the best of his form from the Premier League with Leeds United, and Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag could now offer him some welcome respite.
Having played 27 matches for his current club, Raphinha has scored four goals and chalked up seven assists. While such a tally is by no means shoddy, he has failed to alight the fire that many former positional peers at the Camp Nou left burning in their wake, in particular the triumvirate of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar in 2014/15.
The £212k-per-week winger has only managed to start nine league games for Barcelona, though, and has been attached to persistent rumours regarding his availability throughout the January transfer window.
However, with his remarkable feats with the Whites in the English top-flight, the “magician” – as he was once heralded by former Leeds winger Dan James – recorded 17 goals and 12 assists from 67 outings for the Yorkshire outfit, including a return of 14 direct contributions during his final league season in England.
As per FBref, he ranks among the top 7% of attacking midfielders and wingers across Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes, and also in the top 14% for progressive passes received, illustrating his transitional nature, thriving up and down the right flank.
For a player with such deft wizardry brimming from his boots, he could bring flair and guile in abundance to get Old Trafford rocking, enhancing a frontline already exhibiting promising signs of shaping into one of the most formidable forces in Europe, spearheaded by the red-hot Marcus Rashford.
United technical director John Murtough must make the right moves in these delicate stages of transfer proceedings, and if Elanga or Pellistri do find themselves plying their trade elsewhere, then Raphinha must be brought in.