According to reports, FC Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez and president Joan Laporta are currently at odds over the potential sale of outside winger Raphinha this summer.
The Blaugrana paid a €60m ($63.8m) transfer fee for the Brazilian from Leeds United last year after Laporta famously used ‘economic leverage’ to help the deal go through.
In the 2022/2023 season, however, the 26-year-old struggled to maintain good form on a regular basis.
He started life well at the Camp Nou and was soon benched in favor of Ousmane Dembele in a four-man midfield system that only allows for an all-wideman.
When the Frenchman picked up an injury against Girona that has kept him sidelined so far, Raphinha initially capitalized on his chance to shine with both hands, providing crucial assists and goals against the likes of Real Betis in La Liga and Manchester United in the Europa League.
He threw a tantrum when he was substituted by Xavi in the 2-2 draw in the play-off first leg against the Premier
Xavi publicly forgave the outburst and is reportedly still backing Raphinha despite another poor performance in Thursday’s Copa del Rey semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu against Real Madrid.
Raphinha was good defensively but lacked the ability to dribble successfully and present an attacking threat while often being disowned by youngster Eduardo Camavinga.
And while Xavi wants the Porto Alegre native to have time to adjust to his new surroundings, that opinion is said to put the manager at odds with Joan Laporta, whose patience with Raphinha is waning so much he wouldn’t object to a potential sale accordingly El National.
Raphinha is said to have a market in England where he already has experience and where the likes of United, crosstown rivals Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur would be willing to shell out more than €40m ($42.5m) for him.
That money would make it easier for Barca to land Brazilian teenage sensation Vitor Roque from Athletico Paranaense at a time when the club were warned by La Liga president Javier Tebas that he would need €200m (212, 6 million dollars) from the payroll.