Edu Gaspar has explained how the transfer saga with Raphinha went down and why it wasn’t as protracted as it seemed in the media.
Arsenal made a move for Brazilian winger Raphinha early in the summer transfer window, hoping to sign the 25-year-old from Leeds United.
In the end, Raphinha joined Barcelona instead after what appeared to be a drawn-out saga involving the Gunners, Barcelona, and Chelsea.
Yet, Edu explains that the reality was that his conversation with Deco made it immediately clear the player wanted to join Barcelona, so Arsenal took a step back to allow things to play out.
“People think we went in too deep about Raphinha, because Raphinha was everywhere,” Edu said.
“It’s fair we had a conversation with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship, we are friends. I just said to Deco, ‘can you explain the situation to me for Raphinha?’
“And he was clear, he said ‘Edu, we have a good relationship, I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because his dream is to go to Barcelona, and we [have been talking] to Barcelona since [a] long time ago.’
“Okay, thank you very much (Edu responded). If something happens, just let me know, because I can explore and understand the situation, if not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship.”
Barcelona and Leeds eventually agreed on a €58m (£49m) fixed fee with €9m of potential add-ons.
Chelsea had a deal in place with Leeds for weeks, but Raphinha held out for the move to Barcelona.
Arsenal pulled out much earlier, and it’s clear now why they did so.
Raphinha would have been a very good signing for Arsenal, but if he had his heart set on another club, it was always going to be a difficult move.
The main positive is that the Gunners didn’t waste too much time on it.