Arsenal join the race to sign Leeds winger Raphinha

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By Martin Graham | 11th Jun 2022

Arsenal have joined the list of interested parties waiting in line to sign highly rated winger Raphinha from Leeds United.

The Brazilian has seen his stock rise over the past two seasons and his brilliant showing has seen him become subject of interest from a host of Europe’s top sides.

Barcelona have been the most prominently linked side to Raphinha but their current financial struggles has thrown major doubt over their transfer ambitions

As per The Telegraph, Arsenal have now joined the list of suitors, with Barcelona looking likely to cool their interest over the 25-year-old. The Brazilian was strongly tipped to join the Catalan giants but financial limitations mean that dream might have to be shoved away.

Speaking about a possible exit for Raphinha, Leeds Boss Jesse Marsch claimed in May that the Brazilian remained a key player for the club and also remains fully committed to their project.

He said: “He is 100 percent invested. His emotion, which has been talked about, can be interpreted as lack of discipline.”

“I see it as a total investment. That part has been no thought for me.”

Raphinha won’t come cheap for any side

As at the time Barcelona were credited with an interest for Raphinha, Leeds were in a tight situation and were facing a relegation battle. In the event that the Whites suffered the drop, they were willing to let the player leave for around £21million. However, Leeds escaped relegation against all odds and based on that, the player’s value has reportedly skyrocketed to £55m.

Arsenal will need proper squad depth, given their return to Europe and it’s no surprise to see Mikel Arteta is in search of ample reinforcements.

Raphinha could join the list of growing Brazilians at Arsenal, adding to fellow compatriots Gabriel Magalhaes and Gabriel Martinelli in North London.

From a tactical standpoint, Raphinha also fits in well at Arsenal as he naturally plays on the right but can fit in on the left as well. He can also operate centrally as a no 10 if needed and his pace will come in handy with Arteta’s style of play.

Arsenal also have an advantage in their quest to sign Raphinha, given that club technical director Edu, is Brazilian and has a good relationship with most of the Brazilian internationals.

However, it remains to be seen if Arsenal have the financial muscle to meet Leeds’ valuation or rather if they will spend that amount on one single player. The Gunners might have to sell players first to raise funds for such a move and Nicolas Pepe has been identified as one who could end up leaving the club this summer.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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