One of those in question is Leeds United star Raphinha who is attracting interest from plenty of suitors, including La Liga titans FC Barcelona. The Camp Nou is thought to be the Brazilian’s preferred destination, but with funds limited in Catalonia, it is Arsenal who have lodged the first bid.
The Gunners offer was swiftly rejected by the Elland Road hierarchy, but did confirm that the interest from the red half of North London is concrete. Leeds are rumoured to be holding out for a figure near the £60million-mark, a number Arsenal came nowhere near meeting.
According to The Athletic, Arsenal’s bid was below £40m and was rejected by those in charge at Leeds immediately. Mikel Arteta now knows, if he didn’t before, that Raphinha is not going to come cheap. There’s a strong chance he doesn’t come to the Emirates full-stop.
As previously mentioned, Arsenal are not the only club keeping tabs on the Brazil international’s situation. Though Barcelona may be having trouble trying to muster the funds, fellow Premier League duo and London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have both entered the race for Raphinha.
It would mark a statement of intent from the Blues if they were to make the 25-year-old winger the first mega-money arrival of the Todd Boehly-era as the American businessman’s consortium has started their first transfer window as owners of the club.
Spurs have been touted for moves with plenty of players Arsenal have in their sights and while they look set to miss out on Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus, Antonio Conte is serious with his pursuit of Raphinha.
It would come as a bitter blow to the Gunners if they were to lose one of their main transfer targets to their most fierce rivals, but they are other players in the pipeline.
Arteta’s interest in City star Jesus is well-documented, while Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is also a player on Arsenal’s radar. Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez is a player that is admired by both the Gunners and rivals Manchester United.
Porto playmaker Fabio Vieira has already seen his switch to the Emirates confirmed by the club as Arteta looks to pack his midfield with tricky, creative talent to sky rocket the amount of chances Arsenal create.