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Barcelona don’t want to sell Raphinha, but his exit could be key in the Messi operation

Barcelona don’t want to sell Raphinha, but his exit could be key in the Messi operation

Barcelona have no plans to sell Raphinha this summer, but the Brazilian’s exit could facilitate their efforts to re-sign Lionel Messi from Paris Saint-Germain, according to AS.

Raphinha has come a long way from playing second fiddle to Ousmane Dembele and being constantly linked with a move away to the Spotify Camp Nou.

While speculation over his long-term future at the club abounds, the 26-year-old has re-established himself as an important member of the team, especially in the absence of the injured Dembele.

The Brazil international has proven an integral part of Xavi Hernandez’s squad scoring six goals and assisting five despite starting just 18 of his 28 La Liga appearances.

Raphinha has been one of Barca’s best players despite their recent poor results and demonstrated his importance to the team by assisting Ferran Torres in the 1-0 success over Atletico Madrid.

Barca are reluctant to sell the player just one season after his big-money move from Leeds United, but his departure could speed up ‘Operation Messi’.

Barca are keen to bring Messi back to Spain and have accelerated their efforts to re-sign him when his contract with PSG runs out this summer.

The Catalan giants will stop at nothing in their quest to bring the World Cup winner back to the club and are exploring every avenue available to make it happen.

Barca are planning to raise funds through player sales to ease their financial crisis and trim their bloated wage bill with Ferran Torres, Franck Kessie, Ansumane Fati and Eric Garcia reportedly deemed surplus to requirements.

However, Raphinha could be added to that list amid interest from Premier League giants, including Arsenal, Newcastle United and Chelsea.

After losing Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea, Arsenal revived their interest in Raphinha but saw their €62 million bid knocked back by Barca, who were unwilling to sanction the Brazilian’s departure.

The Blaugranas could yet change their stance on Raphinha’s future in a desperate attempt to ensure ‘Operation Messi’ is successful this summer.

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