Barcelona forward Raphinha feels press, fans and board were never 100% behind him

Barcelona forward Raphinha has divided opinion since his arrival from Leeds United on a €58m-deal, and that is something the Brazilian has felt. Arriving two summers ago, he has no intentions to leave, in spite of constant speculation about his future.

Saudi Arabia are reportedly interested in Raphinha this summer, and are the only side willing to pay Barcelona's €80m asking price, as per Sport. There are a number of European sides that are also interested in him, but so far none are looking at that sort of fee.

Meanwhile Raphinha intends to continue his career at Barcelona, or at least in Europe. He feels he has been harshly treated during his time at the Blaugrana, facing constant criticism and never really feeling the backing of the club, fans or press. The 27-year-old winger is still not a fixed starter despite the exit of Ousmane Dembele – Xavi Hernandez's preferred option on the right – following the emergence of Lamine Yamal.

His statistics back up his form though in his eyes. During his time at Stade Rennes, Raphinha averaged a goal contribution every 2.69 games, while that figure was 2.31 at Leeds United. With 15 goals and 22 assists in his 78 Barcelona appearances, he has been averaging a goal contribution every 2.11 games, his best figures yet.

Regardless of his desire to stay, Barcelona will likely encourage an exit if they can get a worthwhile offer in for him, given their salary limit struggles. While it may be true that Raphinha has perhaps performed better than many give him credit for, there is no doubt that Lamine Yamal and Dembele have won over Xavi more than Raphinha during the last two seasons. Barcelona may want to hold onto him to alternate with Lamine Yamal, given the latter's age, but they can scarcely afford rotation options worth Raphinha's fee – albeit the same argument could be made for Ferran Torres currently.

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