Reports in the British press claimed on Wednesday morning that Bayern Munich were interested in signing Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez. The Chilean is one of Arsenal's best players and the news would have sent waves of worry through the Gunners faithful.
But never fear, German newspaper Bild claims the Gunners have hit back with their very own move for a Bayern Munich player. According to their information, Arsene Wenger has offered a three-year contract to their veteran defender Rafinha.
The Brazilian is not exactly a like-for-like with Sanchez, but he is better than nothing, isn't he? It is a transfer story right out of left-field. Rafinha, 30, has been quietly ticking down the clock on his career at the Allianz Arena, naturally picking up countless winner's medals whilst making the odd appearance here and there.
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He has never been linked with a move to England before, but the right-back's future in Bavaria is currently in some doubt. He has just one year remaining on his contract and seems to be considering one final move. With huge money on offer, the Premier League would be a fine place to boost the pension fund.
And the transfer rumour is not as crazy as it may first appear. Arsenal will probably be on the lookout for an experienced right-back in the summer with Mathieu Debuchy and Carl Jenkinson both expected to leave the club. That would leave Hector Bellerin as the only recognised right-back in the senior squad.
Out of options
Debuchy is unlikely to return to north London after leaving for Bordeaux on a six-month loan deal in January while Jenkinson could return to West Ham on a permanent basis once he recovers from a knee injury. Prior to that injury, he was enjoying a rich spell of form on loan at Upton Park.
Wenger appears keen to turn Calum Chambers into a centre-back and signing Rafinha would relieve the young Englishman of filling in for Bellerin. With just 12 months left on his contract, the twice-capped Brazil international would come as cheap as chips.
Wealth of experience
Importantly, Rafinha could bring a winning mentality to the Emirates. He has won everything German football has to offer at Bayern Munich, including three Bundesliga titles and one Champions League.
Arsenal's lack of bottle when it comes to competing for major prizes has been somewhat lacking in recent seasons. They were widely expected to win the Premier League at the turn of the year but a disastrous 2016 now sees them fighting for fourth instead.
Signing Rafinha could also be a big boost for Gabriel, the Brazilian centre-back is struggling to get a grasp of the English language. His inability to communicate with Laurent Koscielny may have contributed to his uninspiring performances this season but having a compatriot alongside him could aid his integration.
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