Raphinha ‘very close’ to Arsenal move with transfer from Leeds expected ‘this week’

Joe Williams
Arsenal target Raphinha celebrates scoring a goal

Premier League side Arsenal are closing in on the signing of Leeds United attacker Raphinha, according to reports in Brazil.

The Brazil international moved from Rennes to Elland Road in 2020 and has been in fantastic form over Leeds’ two seasons back in the Premier League.

Raphinha has contributed 17 goals and 12 assists in the league since joining Leeds and his performances have turned the heads of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.

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Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool and Barcelona have been particularly heavily linked with Raphinha over the past six months but now it seems like his new destination has been sealed.

Barcelona have been the leaders in the race to sign the Leeds star for months but their failure to agree a deal with the Yorkshire club has now seen a transfer collapse.

Goal claims that Raphinha ‘does not wait for’ Barcelona to stump up the cash and ‘hopes to close his transfer to Arsenal this week’.

Barcelona ‘does not yet have the economic capacity’ to complete a deal for Raphinha with the club waiting on outgoings before they can commit to certain transfers.

With higher salary offers elsewhere, the Brazilian has become tired of waiting for Barcelona and is ‘about to close his transfer to Arsenal’ who ‘took the lead’ this week.

A source at Leeds has told Goal that Barcelona has ‘disappeared’ recently and they expect a transfer to Arsenal to be completed ‘in the coming days’.

Leeds set their asking price at £50m for Raphinha, a figure that Barcelona ‘was not willing to reach from the start’ and with no new offer from the La Liga giants, ‘both Leeds and Raphinha himself decided to go the other way’.

If Arsenal can seal the deal then it is likely to go down well in north London with former Gunners midfielder Jack Wilshere recently revealing his enthusiasm over a potential transfer for Raphinha.

“For someone who’s only been in England for two years, he’s got a lot of experience,” Wilshere said on talkSPORT.

“He came to England and just clicked straight away. He was in a relegation battle last year so he knows he’s up for a fight.

“I think he’d be a good one for Arsenal. He’ll be expensive, of course he will.”