Arsenal are one of the favorites in their bid to sign Raphinha from Leeds United. The Gunners have faced an uphill battle, with serious interest from Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham.
Arsenal have accepted the signing of Gabriel Jesus after already confirming Marquinhos and Fabio Vieira, with Matt Turner expected to follow soon. Despite their absence from the Champions League, Mikel Arteta and Edu have so far pursued their priorities in the summer window.
The difference, and the challenge, with Raphinha is the player’s preference to join Barcelona. As reported by AthleticismArsenal’s first offer was rejected by the West Yorkshire side.
READ MORE: Arsenal news and transfers LIVE: Raphinha’s second offer, Gabriel Jesus closes in, Martinez latest
Barcelona haven’t officially entered the race yet due to their financial restrictions and priorities to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. Ousmane Dembele’s future is also of key importance, with reports suggesting he could now stay instead of leaving on a free transfer.
That said, Raphinha is currently in Spain, on the Spanish island of Ibiza, apparently on vacation with her agent Deco. As the messages to her show instagram storyhe has now met his agent, former Chelsea and Barcelona midfielder Deco, to enjoy the offseason, having played with the Brazilian national team.
Luckily, for any Arsenal supporters who are freaking out that this could be a hint that a potential deal with Barcelona seems closer, it looks very much like a recreational visit. However, it’s impossible to rule out any potential talks that could take place with the now close Catalan side.
However, the silver lining from the Gunners’ perspective is the clear and aggressive intent with which they are pursuing the signing of the player. An offer rejected, a second in sight, Arteta wants his business settled early so players can join their new teammates ahead of the US tour and fit in to tackle the new campaign head-on. Arteta hopes Raphinha will be part of it.
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