Arsenal ‘fail with opening bid for Leeds United winger Raphinha’

Arsenal reportedly fail with their opening bid for Leeds United winger Raphinha, who is also attracting attention from other clubs.

Arsenal have reportedly failed with their opening approach for Leeds United winger Raphinha.

For a number of weeks, the Gunners have been heavily linked with a number of creative players, including Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus.

However, the North London outfit have caught people by surprise in recent days, first with the completion of a deal for Porto playmaker Fabio Vieira.

At a time when Arsenal were said to be on the brink of signing the Portuguese, reports emerged that they were also preparing to make a formal bid for Raphinha.

According to The Athletic, that proposal has now arrived at Elland Road as Mikel Arteta attempts to further strengthen his squad ahead of 2022-23.

Mikel Arteta in charge of Arsenal in May 2022© Reuters

Leeds have since responding by rejecting the offer out of hand, the bid said to be significantly below the valuation set by the Yorkshire giants.

While the report adds that Arsenal’s sporting director Edu is on good terms with Raphinha’s agent Deco, that may ultimately prove inconsequential during the race for his signature.

Barcelona are long-term admirers of the Brazil international and the 25-year-old is said to regard a switch to Camp Nou as his preferred outcome.

As it stands, however, that appears unlikely to materialise due to Barcelona’s ongoing financial issues, the report adding that Chelsea are also ahead of their city rivals on Raphinha’s list of most-wanted destinations.

Leeds United's Raphinha pictured on November 30, 2021© Reuters

The report cites the reasons as being that Chelsea are playing in the Champions League and are better equipped to challenge for silverware.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has recently claimed that Leeds will not part ways with their most prized asset unless they receive an offer in excess of £60m.

Raphinha, who has two years remaining on his contract, has contributed 17 goals and 11 assists during his 66 appearances in all competitions.

The most recent of those strikes came on the final day of the Premier League as Leeds secured survival with a 2-1 triumph at Brentford.

Had Leeds been relegated to the Championship, a release clause of €25m (£21.47m) would have been activated in his contract.

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