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Arsenal’s £50m Raphinha bid ‘not insulting’ but needs a lot of work

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Arsenal are plotting some big moves this summer with Leeds’ Brazilian talisman Raphinha firmly in their sights but they are going to have to up their offer significantly

Mikel Arteta is keen to bolster Arsenal’s attacking options long before the season starts but will have to fork out serious money to bring Leeds winger Raphinha to the Emirates.

The Gunners have already made two signings this summer in the form of wonderkid Marquinhos – another Brazilian wide-man – from Sao Paulo and playmaker Fabio Vieira from Porto. News broke late on Tuesday night that Arsenal had lodged an official bid for Raphinha to become their third arrival this window.

However, the offer was thought to be well below Leeds’ valuation of the 25-year-old. With that being said, Leeds Live reports that the bid was not an ‘insulting’ one from the Gunners and has left the Elland Road hierarchy aware that Arsenal are serious in their pursuit of the player.

Raphinha still has two years left to run on his Leeds deal, so the club are hardly cornered into selling him for anything below his worth. On the other hand, it is thought that those running things at the club acknowledge they cannot stand in his way when it comes to moving on.

The interest from La Liga giants Barcelona was the first to peak Raphinha’s interest before English clubs entered the race for his signature. Arsenal are not the only Premier League side reported to be keen, with ChelseaLiverpool and local rivals Tottenham keeping tabs on the Brazilian.

Jesse Marsch’s side are expected to stand firm and not be pressured into lowering their valuation of the former Rennes winger. Leeds are thought to be holding out for around £60million before sanctioning Raphinha’s departure.

Many have been left surprised by Arsenal’s interest in the Brazil international given the options they already have at their disposal when it comes to wide players. Some fans fear Raphinha’s arrival could hinder the development of the likes of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Emile Smith Rowe.

The reality is that Arsenal’s young guns were clearly suffering from intense fatigue by the time the season was nearing its end last term. Saka, in particular, was relied upon arguably too heavily last time out, which caught up to the England international in the final few important fixtures.

Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup at the first time of asking, while their Carabao Cup hopes were dashed in January. Even with no European football last season, the Gunners struggled to maintain fitness as they finished fifth in the Premier League.

Add the Europa League into the mix and Raphinha becomes a more obvious arrival to ease the workload on Saka and allow Arsenal the best chance of progression in each cup competition, as well as vying for the much-coveted fourth spot in the league.

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