Arsenal’s pursuit of Raphinha has taken a fatal twist, with Chelsea agreeing a fee with Leeds United to sign the winger.

Leeds United's Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United’s Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

David Ornstein of The Athletic reported on Tuesday evening that Chelsea were close to agreeing a fee for Raphinha, edging ahead of Arsenal in the race.

Ornstein’s report suggests a deal isn’t done yet, but it pretty much just comes down to whether or not Raphinha accepts the move.

Fabrizio Romano reports Arsenal had also made a verbal offer to Leeds on Tuesday, but it was rejected.

Barcelona held conversations with the Premier League club as well, but the finances are beyond them now.

Romano and the Daily Mail claim Leeds have actually accepted the latest £55m bid from Chelsea, with add-ons of around £5m. They only need to personal terms with Raphinha.

There are still very vague hopes that Arsenal could revive a deal.

Ben Jacobs reports that Raphinha hasn’t made a final decision yet, and Arsenal sources aren’t ruling out making another bid.

Brazil's Raphinha celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on February 1, 2022. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
Brazil’s Raphinha celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on February 1, 2022. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)

If Arsenal matched Chelsea’s offer, it would come down to the player’s preference. But that’s still going to be a tough negotiation.

Chelsea have Champions League football, and they’re probably better positioned to win trophies in the immediate future.

Arsenal’s proposal would need to rely on offering Raphinha a key squad role, and perhaps the chance to work with his Brazilian teammates Gabriel Jesus, Martinelli, and Magalhaes.

David Ornstein previously reported that there’s talk Thomas Tuchel might use Raphinha as a wing-back, whilst Arsenal would play him in his favoured position as a winger, so that’s another positive.

The reality is that none of that matters until the Gunners find an agreement with Leeds, and they’re quickly running out of time to do so.

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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.