Raphinha is very close to signing for Arsenal, and he could be set to join this week, according to a report.

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)

Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal are in direct negotiations with Leeds United for Raphinha, having been interested in the signing since March.

Romano adds that both Chelsea and Tottenham have “been in contact too”, but he makes it sound like Arsenal’s attempt at the signing is the most involved.

Barcelona are in an interesting position, as they already have an agreement with Raphinha on personal terms, but not on a fee. It’s unlikely they’ll find the funds for the €65-75m fee Leeds will want.

On the surface, this looks problematic for all involved.

Barcelona probably can’t afford the deal, Raphinha could hold out in hope anyway, Arsenal may struggle to convince him to forget Barca, and Leeds United would thus watch this saga hang over them all summer.

But Goal offer a more positive report of the situation for Arsenal fans. They write that Raphinha is close to finalising a transfer to Arsenal, as he doesn’t want to wait much longer.

Barcelona have reportedly disappeared from the race, according to Leeds sources. Raphinha is instead set to join Arsenal as soon as this week.

Even better, Goal report an asking price of closer to €50m, a fairly significant discount on Romano’s report.

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)

The Athletic previously reported that Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Chelsea are all interested in a move for Raphinha this summer, if Barcelona can’t afford the deal. So we may not have seen the final twist in this story just yet.

Raphinha scored 11 goals and assisted three in the Premier League last season.

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