Arsenal will this week hope to make progress in their efforts to prise Raphinha from Leeds United after reportedly booking in a meeting with officials of the West Yorkshire club.
The Brazilian winger finds himself the subject of intense speculation this summer, with several clubs keen. Indeed, with two years left on his deal at Elland Road, Leeds are seemingly willing to cash in on the player – but only if their price is matched.
His efforts for Leeds since arriving in October 2020 have underlined him as a player of serious quality. Now a Brazil regular, Raphinha looks nailed on for a place in Tite’s squad in Qatar later this year.
And his record of a goal involvement every 2.3 games for Leeds, especially while in a struggling side last season, further underline those qualities.
For large spells this summer, Raphinha looked destined to sign for Barcelona. The player, together with his agent Deco, have made it clear that the Nou Camp is an ideal destination for his client.
However, their financial constraints, together with confusion over Ousmane Dembele’s future, has seen them fall back in the race.
That has allowed other clubs to gain on them with Tottenham and Chelsea among those keeping watch.
However, it is Arsenal whose interest now looks the most concrete. The Gunners have already had an opening bid fall flat for the 25-year-old.
Mikel Arteta’s side, though, remain undeterred and are now ready to try again.
Leeds set high price on Raphinha
To that end, Fabrizio Romano claims officials from Arsenal will this week speak with Leeds over a potential deal.
Part of that reason that Barcelona have fallen behind is the valuation Leeds United have placed on the winger.
As per multiple reports, Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani is looking to achieve £65m for the winger.
That seems, on the surface, a fair reflection given his contract situation and the player’s development at Leeds.
However, Arsenal are seemingly in the belief they can strike a deal for the player at nearer the £50m mark.
As such, the two clubs will hold a transfer summit this week to see if a deal can be struck.
Romano, however, insists other clubs cannot be discounted from the running yet either.
Writing on Twitter, Romano said: “Raphinha deal. Arsenal have already scheduled a meeting with Leeds next week – Leeds will ask again for £65m fee.
“Barcelona still in contact with Deco after personal terms agreed, but no fresh bid yet. Tottenham and Chelsea, still in talks with agents. Race still open.”
Leeds have plans to spend potential windfall
It seems this week will prove a significant one in deciding the player’s future.
While Arsenal currently lead the race, they cannot yet feel comfortable about securing his signing.
The player is reportedly keen to hold out for Barcelona too, which may present a problem.
Furthermore, Raphinha is determined to play in the Champions League; a competition which, as things stand, Arsenal are unable to offer him.
Arsenal have bid rejected for Raphinha by Leeds
Arsenal have had a bid rejected for Raphinha by Leeds United who want £65m for the winger
However, by making the first move and scheduling in talks, they have put themselves in the box seat.
Radrizzani, though, will be determined to hold out for the best deal possible. The player is the biggest asset the club has ever owned. As such, his fee will most certainly become a Leeds United transfer record if and when it goes through.
Leeds, though, do have plans to re-invest the Raphinha windfall. The club are ready to push forward their plans to sign Charles De Ketelaere, while Salzburg’s Mohamed Camara is also a big money target.