Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed Premier League giants Arsenal have taken a ‘genuine interest’ in Leeds United winger Raphina since March.
Mikel Arteta’s side finished fifth in the Premier League table last season and narrowly missed out on Champions League football. The club are therefore expected to make a number of statement purchases this summer to bolster their squad.
Raphina joined Leeds United from Rennes in the summer of 2020. He enjoyed an impressive debut season with the club, scoring six goals and providing nine assists in 30 Premier League appearances.
The 25-year-old continued his good work last season despite an injury, scoring 11 goals in 35 league appearances. The Brazil international is expected to move to one of Europe’s top clubs this summer.
Leeds United are reportedly demanding at least €55 million for the winger and have passed their asking price on to Barcelona, who are believed to be interested in signing him.
The Gunners could join the Catalan giants in the race to sign Raphina. However, Romano has suggested that Gabriel Jesus and Youri Tielemans are the club’s main transfer targets and are yet to make an offer or start talks with Leeds for Raphina.
Arsenal have taken a genuine interest in Raphina since March, he has always been appreciated but there is still no offer or negotiation with Leeds. Gabriel Jesus & Tielemans, priorities. Leeds will accept no less than €55 million for Raphina, as of now – message sent to Barca days ago,” Romano continued tweet.
Arsenal urgently need reinforcements this summer. The club failed to sign a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who left the club by mutual consent during the January transfer window before moving to Barca.
French striker Alexandre Lacazette recently announced that he will leave the club after his contract expires on June 30. The club from north London will therefore be happy to complete a transfer for Manchester City hit man Gabriel Jesus. The Brazilian’s pace, speed and versatility make him the ideal transfer target for Mikel Arteta.
Youri Tielemans is also considered one of the Gunners’ main transfer targets as Mikel Arteta is keen to sign a midfielder. Fabrizio Romano. The Belgian’s passing ability, creativity and pace of work could make him the ideal partner for Thomas Partey in Arsenal’s midfield.
Raphina prefers transfer to Barcelona over Arsenal
Leeds United winger Raphina is likely to prefer a club that gives him the chance to play in the Champions League and possibly compete for league titles in the near future.
Barcelona finished second in La Liga last season, despite a disappointing start to the season. The Catalan giants appear to be heading in the right direction under the leadership of Xavi Hernandez and are keen to make some smart signings this summer to improve their chances of vying for the league title next season.
Arsenal, on the other hand, is still a work in progress under Mikel Arteta. The Premier League side is still a long way from clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool in terms of quality and could therefore struggle to compete for the league title in the near future.
The absence of Champions League football is also a disadvantage for the north London club when it comes to attracting transfer targets.