Arsenal are pushing for Leeds United’s Raphinha with the most intensity at the moment, according to reports.

LEEDS, ENGLAND: Raphinha of Leeds United applauds fans after their side's defeat during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road on January 22, 2022. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND: Raphinha of Leeds United applauds fans after their side’s defeat during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Newcastle United at Elland Road on January 22, 2022. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

The Athletic report that Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea are all interested in a move for Raphinha this summer, with links to Barcelona starting to fade as it becomes clear they’re unlikely to be able to afford the deal.

Leeds reportedly don’t plan to obstruct Raphinha’s departure if their valuation is met.

Spurs are also interested in Richarlison, and they won’t sign both players, whilst Chelsea are working on a deal for Ousmane Dembele. So the suggestion is that Arsenal hold the most focused interest in the winger.

That interpretation is backed up by Spanish journalist Toni Juanmarti, who reports that Arsenal are moving with more intensity for the player in recent days.

Juanmarti reports that Barcelona have now been absent from the race for several months, with Leeds’ successful avoidance of relegation boosting his transfer fee from €25m to €55m.

The Athletic claim Raphinha has an agreement with Barcelona, but as they can’t afford him, that opens the door to other clubs.

Leeds United's Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli moves off to take a set-piece during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on February 26, 2022. (Photo by JON SUPER/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United’s Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli moves off to take a set-piece during the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on February 26, 2022. (Photo by JON SUPER/AFP via Getty Images)

Raphinha scored 11 goals and assisted three in the Premier League last season, and the stats suggest he was unlucky not to have even more goal contributions.

The Leeds winger’s expected assists were 6.8, so with average finishing, you’d expect him to rack up roughly seven assists from the chances he created.

Unfortunately for him, Leeds’ finishing was below par, with players like Patrick Bamford and Dan James significantly underperforming.

All this to say that Raphinha’s ceiling is likely higher than what was already a good season this year. He’ll be a strong addition, wherever he ends up.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.