According to The Athletic, Arsenal are ‘firm favourites’ to sign Raphinha and will make a concerted effort to seal a deal with Leeds United next week.
The Gunners have already had one bid for the Brazil international rebuffed but Edu and Mikel Arteta seem intent on adding the 25-year-old to our growing stable of attackers even though the asking price has been quoted at £65 million.
Despite holding a long-standing interest in the winger, Barcelona seem to have dropped out of the running while Chelsea and Sp*rs, also said to be suitors, are focusing their attention on Raheem Sterling and Richarlison respectively.
Arsenal’s push for Raphinha is happening as we close in on the signing of Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus for £45 million (plus add-ons) and just days after a €40 million deal was struck with Porto for playmaker Fabio Vieira. Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez and Leicester’s Youri Tielemans remain on the shopping list.
At some point, the club’s attention will have to turn to selling fringe members of the first team squad in the hope of recouping some cash.
While a deal with Marseille for Matteo Guendouzi is guaranteed, there are question marks over the futures of Lucas Torreira, Reiss Nelson, Hector Bellerin, Alex Runarsson, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Pablo Mari, all of whom return from loan deals.
Fulham are said to be in talks with Bernd Leno, Marseille have been linked with Nuno Tavares and Granit Xhaka continues to be the subject of interest from the continent. We also need to find a home for Nicolas Pepe.
The first team squad should begin returning to London Colney in drips and drabs in the coming week before pre-season training kicks off in earnest on 4 July.