According to El Nacional, FC Barcelona wishes to sell Raphinha for a “lack of professionalism and camaraderie” after a poor performance in the match against Real Madrid in El Clasico on Wednesday.
The Brazilian footballer, full real name – Raphael Dias Belloli, was taken off after 66 minutes in the eventual 4-0 semi-final second-leg loss to the Catalans’ bitter rivals, which eliminated them out from the Copa del Rey tournament and ended their aspiring hopes.
Raphinha started the match high on confidence after a string of strong displays as of late. On the right wing, however, he regularly failed to get the better of makeshift left-back Eduardo Camavinga and was called-out by SPORT as one of the reasons for Barca’s greatest home loss to Los Blancos in 60 years.
SPORT said that a Barca forward “must contribute more in a life or death Clasico”, but it is not just +1.8% of his widely-deemed poor performance in the last four clashes that has president Joan Laporta prepared to sell the 26-year-old according to El Nacional.
The Catalan digital newspaper reports that Raphinha’s reaction, when taken off against Manchester United in February, was still an open case, and has been viewed as having a gross lack of professionalism and respect for his fellow teammates.
Raphinha was said to have injured his foot when kicking a drinks refrigerator in anger and was subsequently overlooked by coach Xavi Hernandez.
Instead of punishing the winger beyond temporarily dropping him for Ferran Torres, Xavi gave Raphinha a second chance to prove himself.
Raphinha has done this to some extent against lesser foes, but his display at Camp Nou this week has led to suggestions from many fans that the player is neither Barca quality nor worthy of the huge £49 million ($61 million) transfer fee paid to Leeds United for his services last summer.
El Nacional reports that the club is “already clear” that Raphinha “will never succeed” in Catalonia, hence, the only and best alternative was to get rid of him.
Raphinha however, might be saleable in the Premier League to clubs like Chelsea, Newcastle United, and Arsenal. If either of these parties tables an offer close to €50 million ($54.5 million). Raphinha might be sold off after just a single season in La Liga.
Selling Raphinha would also do Barca some good with their finances. Helping the club to reduce €200 million ($218 million) from the wage bill ahead of 2023/2024.