The Gunners are reportedly leading the race for the in-demand Brazilian international but Leeds United are not in a position where they are in any desperate need to sell
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The Gunners are on the verge of signing the Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus. Mikel Arteta was keen to reunite with the striker after the pair’s shared time together at the Etihad when the Spaniard was an assistant to Pep Guardiola.
Arsenal’s first acquisition of the summer came in the form of talented Brazilian teenager Marquinhos after prying the wonder-kid away from Sao Paulo. There are also, quite crucially, two members of the Selecao already plying their trade at the Emirates in Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes.
The latter could play a vital part in luring Raphinha to North London due to their long-standing friendship, which dates back to the earliest stages of their respective careers. Speaking at the tail-end of last year, Gabriel reflected on his relationship with Arsenal’s transfer target.
“We had a Whatsapp group that we were always in contact since our Avai days (they played their together),” the central defender explained. “We shared the same accommodation. We’re very good friends.”
Arsenal have already lodged a bid for the 25-year-old, but it was thought to have been well below the £65million price tag the Elland Road hierarchy have placed on his head. Not to be deterred the Gunners are preparing a second offer with more talks between the two teams scheduled in the coming days. It is now widely known that among all of Raphinha’s suitors that the Gunners are leading the charge for his services.
Both Chelsea and Spurs are rumoured to have started putting other plans in place. The Blues are eyeing Raheem Sterling, while Arsenal’s neighbours are aiming to land another Brazilian, in Everton talisman Richarlison.
Raphinha has made it clear to the Leeds board that he has no intention of penning another contract at Elland Road. An exit this summer would mark the best chance the club have to generate a significant fee to compensate for his inevitable departure.