Raphinha’s future may be resolved soon and in a surprising twist, he may end up at a team no one considered favorites.
According to Goal, Arsenal are close to reaching an agreement with Leeds United for the Brazilian winger. The report claims the Gunners have pulled ahead and could close the deal this week.
Barcelona were heavily interested and it was assumed they’d be in better financial shape following the approval of a pair of economic levers. But Raphinha has gotten tired of waiting and that has opened the window for Arsenal.
Furthermore, Leeds have not received an official bid from the Catalan side.
Fabrizio Romano is reporting that the club is in direct negotiations with Leeds United.
Arsenal will have staved off some stiff competition should a deal be reached. Despite missing the Champions League, the club is headed in the right direction. Champions League football remains the goal and are therefore reinforcing the squad to achieve their objective.
Strengthening the attack is the Gunners’ priority heading into next season. They let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave on a free to Barcelona in January and declined to extend Alexandre Lacazette’s contract.
Those departures have opened up places in the forward line and they hope Raphinha will be one of the players to fill a spot. They’ve also been linked with Manchester City’s Gabriel Jesus. Adding both Brazilians would surely mark a potent offense for manager Mikel Arteta.
Raphinha was instrumental in helping Leeds stay up this season following an up-and-down campaign resulting in the sacking of manager.
In a weird twist of fate, the fact that Leeds did not get relegated hurt his chances of joining Barcelona. Had Leeds been relegated he would have been available for a fee of €25 million. Barcelona’s loss has turned into Arsenal’s gain.