Arsenal poised to gazump Barcelona for Brazilian winger Raphinha
The Gunners look poised to seal a shock deal for Leeds United winger Raphinha, who was believed to have had already agreed personal terms with Barcelona.
WATCH: The best of Raphinha in 21/22 for Leeds
However, as the Catalans have about as much financial clout as someone who invested their life savings in Luna in the first week of May, they have thus far been unable to meet the £60m (S$10m) transfer fee that Leeds United are demanding for the Brazilian.
This has presented Arsenal with an opportunity to swoop in to steal Raphinha from under the nose of Barcelona, with the North London side expected to lodge a £50m bid for the 25-year-old in the coming days.
Ironically, Arsenal’s much-derided decision to gift Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang to Barcelona in January might have proven to be the catalyst for this chain of events, with the Spanish outfit having to allocate a sizeable chunk of their budget to fund the Gabonese’s love for sports cars.
It is understood that Liverpool are also interested in signing Raphinha, but have been unable to offer as attractive a pay package as the one being proposed by Arsenal.
WATCH: Raphinha's Leeds United journey
Should Arsenal’s move for Raphinha – who scored 11 goals in 36 appearances for Leeds last season – go through, it will mark yet another ambitious signing for the club. Mikel Arteta’s side has already added highly-rated midfielder Fabio Vieira and young winger Marquinhos to their ranks, while it is also expected that they will soon seal the deal for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus.