German publication SportBILD are reporting talks between Arsenal and Bayern Munich ahead of the upcoming transfer window with Rafinha and Alexis Sánchez supposedly on the agenda.
Hardly a fair swap, eh?
Firstly, Rafinha. A dependable and committed defender, the Brazilian right-back can also play on the left and would seem a reasonable move for Arsenal to make.
The Gunners have Héctor Bellerín as first choice at right-back but will need to prepare for life after Mathieu Debuchy, who is currently on loan at Bordeaux. As it stands, Arsenal have Calum Chambers as backup for right-back as well as centre-back.
There are also rumours that Kieran Gibbs could leave and Rafinha would provide cover for Nacho Monreal while Arsenal look for a long-term replacement.
With a deal running out in 2017, Rafinha may have to decide on his future this summer and Bayern are unlikely to give the 30-year-old a significant new deal: if the last big contract of his career was in London he’d probably earn more.
But would Rafinha really leave Bayern Munich just to be an understudy elsewhere? That would be a little surprising, it must be said. The report suggests Arsenal are prepared to offer him a three-year deal but, in truth, we find that a little hard to believe. It just doesn’t seem like Arsenal.
SportBILD then went on to recycle the claims of the Mirror, who have reported that Bayern will ask Arsenal for Alexis. The Chilean has two years to go on his contract and the Gunners will sit down with him this summer to discuss an extension.
That story almost certainly doesn’t have legs but the Rafinha rumour, well, it’s hard to say. If Carlo Ancelotti doesn’t want him it could easily happen.