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Leeds: Journalist shares Raphinha exit update

Leeds: Journalist shares Raphinha exit update -Leeds United News

Raphinha’s proposed move from Leeds United to Arsenal is still on, according to journalist Ben Jacobs.

The lowdown

Brazilian outlet Globo Esporte claimed that the north London club had ‘pulled out’ of the race to sign the 25-year-old after reportedly sealing a deal for Gabriel Jesus, boosting Barcelona’s chances of landing the Elland Road star.

It emerged last week that the Gunners had submitted a bid for the Whites winger, but it was rejected because it fell significantly below Leeds’ valuation (via The Athletic).

The Yorkshire club are expected to allow Raphinha to leave without being ‘unfair’ or ‘obstructive’ if their demands are met.

The latest

Jacobs took to Twitter on Sunday night with a couple of telling updates on the Brazil international’s future at Leeds, ahead of what could be a pivotal week in the transfer saga.

Firstly, he tweeted: “Told Arsenal have not ‘pulled out’ of trying to sign Raphinha. Raphinha does want to see if a Barcelona deal is possible (Camp Nou move always been of appeal). It’s complicated and may require Ousmane Dembele to leave, hence why this week is key.”

In a follow-up tweet, Jacobs claimed: “Raphinha’s representatives haven’t blanked EPL suitors. Arsenal have further talks scheduled with them this week. Leeds will hold out for around £60 million. Barcelona need to find those funds. Raphinha wants to assess all options, and one of them remains Arsenal.”

The verdict

Raphinha doesn’t look like an essential signing for Arsenal.

He played 33 of his 36 matches on the right flank last season, and that’s the role Bukayo Saka typically occupies at the Emirates Stadium.

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In the England youngster, Arsenal already have a top-quality option, as his nomination for Premier League Player of the Season demonstrates, so perhaps the Gunners won’t feel pressure to meet that reported £60m asking price for the Brazil star.

That could ultimately work in Leeds’ favour as they do their utmost to keep Raphinha at Elland Road, but could this yet prove to be a long and drawn-out negotiation?

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