Arsenal are one of the clubs credited with interest in Leeds United winger Raphinha this summer. The Brazil international was said to be keen on joining Barcelona and had even agreed personal terms with the Catalans, but the two clubs simply haven’t been able to reach an agreement over the transfer fee as Barcelona, still troubled by financial issues, refuse to meet Leeds’ reported valuation of £55 million.
The situation has obviously opened the door for Raphinha to leave Elland Road in favour of another club and Arsenal are now said to be leading the race, but as Sky Sports journalist Melissa Reddy explains, the Gunners have to show determination and move soon to wrap the transfer up. Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea, both with Champions League football to offer, are waiting in the shadows, looking on and waiting for an opening to pounce.
“Arsenal love Raphinha, [techical director] Edu has a very good relationship with his agent Deco, so they want to get this done,” Reddy says.
“Chelsea also like him, Tottenham have looked at him, so Arsenal can’t really haggle if they want this to happen, they need to put in a really strong offer. They really need to go quite heavy, not just in terms of the financial package they put in front of him, but also the sales pitch to get it over the line.”
There can be no doubt about the fact that Raphinha is an excellent player, a regular Brazil international with significant Premier League experience to boot. For Leeds, he has scored 17 goals and produced 11 assists in 66 matches in all competitions, but mostly in the league.
The 25-year-old used to play for Guimaraes and Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, as well as Stade Rennais in France, before Leeds signed him at the end of the summer transfer window in 2020.