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Arsenal: ‘World-class’ £63k-a-week star ‘interested’ in Emirates move

Arsenal target Raphinha was interested in a move to the Emirates Stadium amid reports that Chelsea could be closing in on a deal, according to transfer insider Dean Jones.

The £63,000-per-week ace has emerged as one of the Gunners’ top targets this summer and Jones reckons he would be keen on signing for the north London outfit despite an intense race for his signature.

What’s the latest news involving Raphinha?

According to The Athletic, Mikel Arteta’s side were in pole position to sign the Brazil international before developments on Tuesday evening, having seen their first bid knocked back earlier this month.

The report states that Arsenal’s opening offer for Raphinha fell ‘well below’ Leeds’ £65m valuation for the wide man, who scored 11 goals in the Premier League last season.

But the same outlet believed the Gunners were expected to ‘intensify‘ their attempts to bring the 25-year-old to the club, with talks with Raphinha’s team scheduled for later this week – prior to Chelsea’s swoop.

With Raphinha one of the hottest prospects in the transfer window, Arsenal face stiff competition from the Blues and Barcelona, who are his top two destinations, while Tottenham are also in the running.

Prior to Tuesday’s development, Jones said Raphinha would be keen on linking up with Arteta’s men, especially after seeing Brazilian teammate Gabriel Jesus agree a move to the capital.

What did Jones say about Raphinha?

He told GIVEMESPORT: “There has to be a reasonable chance that he does stay in the Premier League, because that Barcelona deal might not go through, and if that’s the case, Arsenal is an avenue that is open to him. And I’m told, he is interested in it.”

Why do Arsenal want Raphinha?

The Gunners might own one of the top right wingers in the Premier League in Bukayo Saka but signing Raphinha, described as ‘world class‘ by ex-Leeds goalkeeper Paul Robinson, would still improve their frontline.

His arrival would force one of him or Saka to move over to the left, but it’s not difficult to see why Arsenal are so desperate to sign the ex-Rennes ace despite having more pressing areas to address on the pitch.

According to WhoScored, Raphinha almost single-handedly spearheaded Leeds’ attack last term, with the winger scoring the most goals (11), while also leading the way with most shots (2.5), key passes (1.9) and dribbles (1.8) every time he took to the pitch.

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