Arsenal 'keen' to sign 'ludicrous' £65m star at the Emirates

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta gesturing to his players

Arsenal are one of several sides linked to Leeds United winger Raphinha, and his current employers are ‘looking to encourage a bidding way’, according to Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor.

The 25-year-old is one of the most in-demand players on the market at this moment in time, with a host of top clubs eager to prise him away from Elland Road.

What is the latest news involving Raphinha?

Reliable reporter David Ornstein recently revealed that Leeds have rejected Arsenal’s opening offer for Raphinha after it fell well below their valuation.

It’s claimed that the north London outfit’s interest in the Brazil international ‘remains strong’, though, with manager Mikel Arteta thought to be ‘extremely keen’ on the player while director of football Edu has good links to his agent Deco.

Ornstein goes on to state that Raphinha had long been expected to join Barcelona, with the Catalan giants known to be his ‘preferred destination’ but their financial problems are a major stumbling block in any potential deal.

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Chelsea and fellow Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur are also said to be in the running for the South American sensation, although ‘there is optimism’ at the Emirates that they are in a strong position.

Leeds are said to value their prized asset at £65 million and it is thought Raphinha is open to the potential move, meaning a switch could imminently occur.

What has Taylor said about Raphinha?

In an interview with GiveMeSport, Taylor said: “Obviously, as you will have seen, Arsenal had a bid rejected on Tuesday.

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“When I spoke to a contact on Monday to try and find out about the interest, I was told that Arsenal are interested but that the kind of feeling is Leeds are looking to encourage a bidding war.

“And Deco is also in the mix in driving up that sort of speculation. Arsenal are keen, but as of Monday, there was no significant developments. Obviously, that changed with the bid on Tuesday.”

Do Arsenal need Raphinha?

Given fans’ favourite Bukayo Saka, who was Arsenal’s top scorer last season, predominantly plays on the right-wing, there are understandable question marks over whether Arteta really needs Raphinha, who was described as “sensational” by Amitai Winehouse.

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However, the 13-time English champions are set to welcome the return of European competition to the Emirates next term, meaning additional strength in depth will be needed, and they are close to completing a deal for Gabriel Jesus.

With Saka able to play on the opposite flank and at left-back, and Raphinha also comfortable on the left-hand side, he should prove to be a welcome addition rather than an unnecessary luxury.

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