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Premier League • England

Raphinha transfer latest: Arsenal hopes grow as Barcelona drop from running to leave Leeds star considering two options

Raphinha, Leeds Utd star, reacts after the full-time whistle during the 1-1 Premier League draw against Burnley at Turf Moor

Arsenal are growing increasingly hopeful they can secure the Raphinha transfer, with the winger now seemingly left with just two choices this summer.

The future of Leeds United’s star man has taken up plenty of column inches this summer. Having played a leading role in Leeds’ dramatic battle against the drop, the Brazil superstar finds himself in high demand. Indeed, several sides are very much keen to prise the talented 25-year-old away from Elland Road.

With just two years left on his deal, Leeds appear willing to cash in on their star man this summer. That race has long since been led by Barcelona, with Raphinha making clear his desire to move to the Camp Nou.

Leeds United, though, are refusing to sell Raphinha on the cheap. Indeed, their minimum £42.9m (€50m) asking price for Barcelona has caused some division at the LaLiga giants.

However, there is plenty of Premier League suitors for the player too, with Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham lurking with intent. Perhaps more surprisingly, West Ham and now Newcastle are also reportedly considering approaches.

All the same, Leeds know they can maximise their profit by offloading Raphinha to a Premier League rival. To that end, it is Arsenal who have made their move to sign him. And while the Gunners’ first offer was knocked back, a report claims Edu has scheduled in talks with Leeds officials over a prospective deal.

Now, according to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona now appear out of the running for Raphinha.

Barcelona priorities lie elsewhere

Their focus is now back on retaining the services of Ousmane Dembele. The France winger’s deal expires on Thursday and while his future remains in the air, he now reportedly wants to renew.

As such, talks between his agent, Moussa Sissoko, and Barca officials are scheduled for Tuesday. Their aim will be to find common ground and extend the winger’s deal.

And with Barcelona also prioritising a move for Robert Lewandowski, they no longer consider Raphinha a priority this summer. A future move – possibly in 2023 – is not being ruled out by Barca, but their prospects of landing him now are on the decline.

As such, their verdict leaves the 25-year-old with two choices to weigh up. He can either sign for Arsenal, assuming a deal can be agreed with Leeds, or he stay at Leeds in the hope that Barcelona come back for him next year.

The article claims Leeds are now ‘choosing to listen’ to Arsenal, knowing Barca are out of the running.

Leeds value the winger at around the £65m mark, with Arsenal reportedly willing to spend £50m.

Raphinha transfer: star left with a choice to make

The question now for Raphinha will be whether he moves to Arsenal this summer. He will know that, by doing that, he will also be closing the door on Barcelona for the next couple of years at least.

The Gunners do represent a step up from Leeds, given they can offer him European football. However, they are not yet at the level of Barcelona, nor can they offer Champions League football.

Furthermore, Raphinha’s preferred position – playing as an inverted right winger – is already well covered by the Gunners in the form of Bukayo Saka.

Were a Raphinha transfer to Arsenal go through, he might find himself being asked to play on the left wing. That’s a position he has found himself playing at times for Leeds United, though it is a position in which he is considerably less effective.

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

Furthermore, would playing on the left wing see him lose form and confidence? And could that then potentially put his Brazil place at risk? With that in mind, Raphinha may think it better to wait it out at Leeds. A good World Cup may well prompt Barcelona to come again in January – and that may convince him to remain.

Arsenal, meanwhile, are reportedly looking the most likely suitors for Lisandro Martinez, with Man Utd now flagging in the race.