Arsenal: Arteta suffers 'big blow' over 56-goal star at the Emirates

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta watches on

Arsenal have suffered a ‘big blow’ in their pursuit of Raphinha as the Leeds United man is closing in on a move to Chelsea instead of the Emirates Stadium, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

The Gunners have already spent a considerable amount of cash as boss Mikel Arteta looks to beef up his squad before the upcoming campaign, but it appears he has failed to lure Raphinha to north London.

GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones
GiveMeSport Transfer Update With Dean Jones

What’s the latest news involving Raphinha?

Chelsea seem to be in pole position to land Raphinha after agreeing a fee of up to £65million, including add-ons, with Leeds.

The west Londoners have already sent an official proposal to the Brazilian and his agent, Deco, as new Blues owner Todd Boehly is looking to rubber-stamp the deal as quickly as possible.

It comes as a major setback for Arsenal, who had made the first move for Raphinha this summer, only for their big-money bid to be rejected last week.

While the Gunners have been unwilling to reach the fee Chelsea have tabled for the Leeds ace, who has notched 56 senior goals over the course of his club career, fellow suitors Barcelona are not in a financial position to compete.

With Raphinha entering the final two years of his £63,000-per-week contract at Elland Road and the club anticipating he will no longer sign a new deal, Leeds are open to sanctioning the winger’s departure.

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What has Dean Jones said about Raphinha?

Jones believes the failure to sign Raphinha may prove costly for Arsenal, while a move to Chelsea will be even more difficult to swallow.

The transfer insider feels being unable to strike a deal which would have seen the 25-year-old head to the Emirates Stadium rather than Stamford Bridge is a missed opportunity.

Jones told GIVEMESPORT: “Arsenal will hate the fact Chelsea are moving so fast in the market as this window could have been a chance to close the gap on them in a period of transition.

“But if they miss Raphinha and he lands at Chelsea, it’s a big blow they need to react to.”

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How big is the gap between Arsenal and Chelsea?

Arsenal finished five points adrift of Chelsea last season, but that margin allowed the west Londoners to qualify for the Champions League while Arteta’s charges will be competing in the Europa League during the upcoming campaign.

While the Gunners have not won the Premier League title since 2004, their neighbours have got their hands on the trophy five times in the intervening years.

It was thought that this could be the perfect opportunity to close the gap, with Chelsea in transition after a £4.25billion takeover led by Boehly’s consortium, but Arsenal appear to have been beaten to Raphinha.

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