Newcastle are on the fringes of the Raphinha transfer race but could soon be in amongst the teams fighting for the Leeds United star, a report has claimed.
The Brazilian is one of the Premier League’s most in-demand players this summer, with his future something of a saga. It looked a few weeks ago like a move to Barcelona was a formality.
However, doubt has now emerged over whether Raphinha can get his move to the La Liga side.
Instead, links with a move across England have ramped up in recent days for the winger. In particular, Arsenal and Chelsea have reportedly registered firm interest in the 25-year-old.
According to the Northern Echo, though, Newcastle could yet join their top-flight rivals for the Brazil international.
The newspaper notes that the Magpies are unwilling to match Leeds’ current £60million valuation of their star forward.
They would therefore be willing to do a deal for around £40million, dependent on add-ons. For now, though, Newcastle are waiting to see how Raphinha’s transfer talks with other clubs progress.
Newcastle watching Arsenal, Raphinha talks
Arsenal have made Raphinha more of a firm target than Chelsea, who want Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling.
The Gunners have reportedly organised a meeting with Leeds chiefs this week to move the discussions on.
Arsenal hope that around £50million will seal the deal for Raphinha – more than what Newcastle are offering.
Nevertheless, the Magpies are aware that, like with the Barcelona interest, transfers can change quickly and so are keeping tabs on the situation.
Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Gabriel Jesus from Man City. Raphinha would therefore be the fourth Brazilian attacker in their ranks alongside Jesus, fellow new signing Marquinhos and Gabriel Martinelli.
Newcastle want top new attackers
The Northern Echo adds that a striker and a wide attacker are two of the top priorities for Newcastle boss Eddie Howe.
The wide attacker deal – for which Raphinha is the target – is the area which has received ‘least attention’ from Magpies chiefs.
However, they are now sensing a potential opportunity with the Brazilian. As for new strikers, January target Hugo Ekitike is back on Newcastle’s radar but there is a ‘deadlock’ in those talks.
Newcastle have already bolstered their defence. Goalkeeper Nick Pope has arrived from Burnley, with left-back Matt Targett turning his Aston Villa loan into a permanent move.
What’s more, Lille defender Sven Botman is closing in on a move to St James’ Park.
As such, now is the time for Newcastle to go after new attackers. They solidified their defence last season – a major reason why they recovered so well – but now they need more firepower up front to fire them further up the Premier League table.