Arsenal ready to make ‘an improved offer’ for Raphinha with Leeds set to reject first bid

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Raphinha waits for a pass

Arsenal are expected to submit a new offer for Leeds attacker Raphinha with their first offer set to be turned down, according to reports.

The Brazilian has been in brilliant form since joining the Yorkshire club from Rennes in 2020 in a £17m transfer, contributing 17 goals and 12 assists over his two seasons in the Premier League.

Since moving to Leeds, the 25-year-old has picked up nine senior caps for Brazil – scoring three goals in the process – to boost his reputation further.

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And now Arsenal have made the first move for Raphinha although reliable transfer expert Fabrizio Romano insists that Tottenham and Chelsea are both still interested.

A report from The Athletic journalist David Ornstein claimed that Arsenal ‘have sent a formal offer to’ Leeds for Raphinha after they made contact on Tuesday over a possible deal.

Ornstein added that the Gunners’ bid ‘fell well below Leeds’ valuation and is expected to be rejected out of hand’ despite the Elland Road club not expecting their attacker to sign a new deal.

Raphinha had been expected to join Barcelona this summer with Chelsea and the Camp Nou his two preferred destinations – but the Catalan giants’ financial situation means they may not be able to compete.

Ornstein claimed that Arsenal and Tottenham are further down the list of desirable clubs but that won’t stop the Gunners from trying to sign Raphinha.

Sky Sports agree that the opening bid from Arsenal ‘will be rejected’ by Leeds, who are in a strong position with Raphinha having two years left on his contract, but they also claim that the Gunners ‘are expected to go back in with an improved offer’.

Meanwhile, Guardian football writer Nicky Bandini thinks the potential signing of Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus would be a “positive step” for Arsenal but warns the Gunners could find their schedule hard next season.

On whether signing Jesus would give Arsenal the edge in the race to finish in the top four next season, Bandini told Sky Sports: “I think it’s too early to say it would give them the edge as there’s a long way to go in the transfer window and Arsenal are having to catch up. It won’t be easy next season as they will be in the Europa League.

“The Thursday-Sunday schedule does have a negative impact on domestic performance so it’s going to be tough for Arsenal to bridge the gap.

“If you’re going to do that, you’ve got to be encouraged by the club doing their business early. Addressing a big area up front in signing Gabriel Jesus is a positive step.

“His goals-to-expected-goals ratio is one of the weakest in the Premier League since he arrived but his goalscoring has been prolific. He’s got more than a goal every other game so his productivity has been very high.

“Arsenal have been crying out for someone to be on the end of those chances consistently. It was the one thing that was missing last season.”