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Raphinha emerges as a summer target for Newcastle United

Raphinha emerges as a summer target for Newcastle United

Barcelona winger Raphinha has emerged as a priority target for Newcastle United barely a year after moving to Spain, according to SPORT.

The Brazilian joined the Spanish giants in a big-money move from Leeds United last summer, but he has struggled to live up to his price tag.

Often overlooked for Ousmane Dembele, who can play on either side of the front three, Raphinha has started just 12 of his 22 league appearances this season.

The 26-year-old forward has accumulated just seven goals and nine assists in 34 appearances across all competitions this term.

Raphinha was a target for Arsenal in January, with reports claiming the Blaugranas knocked back a staggering £62 million bid from the Gunners.

Barca manager Xavi Hernandez has ruled out a possible departure for the Brazil international, saying the player is firmly in his plans.

However, despite Barca’s reluctance to sell midseason, it is understood they could consider a summer sale if a sizeable offer comes in.

Raphinha would not be short on offers should Barca put him on the shopping list, and Newcastle are looking to lure the Brazilian back to the Premier League.

Since the Saudi Public Investment Funds consortium completed the takeover of the club, Newcastle have asserted themselves in the Premier League.

The Magpies have been a force to reckon with, losing just two of their 23 games. They are fifth in the table, four points behind Tottenham Hotspur with two games in hand.

It is fair to say they have performed above expectations this term. However, Eddie Howe must rebuild his squad this summer to compete with the league’s big boys.

Signing a player of Raphinha’s calibre would be a statement to the rest of the division despite the player’s current struggles at Barca. 

However, it would only be realistic if they secure a Champions League spot. Howe’s side have been relentless all season, but their recent form is enough to question their hunger for the top four.

They have won just one of their last seven league games, which needs to improve sooner rather than later, with Spurs, Fulham, Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion also in contention.

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