As per Goal‘s Charles Watts, the Gunners are still ‘firmly in the hunt’ to land the 25-year-old this summer – as well as compatriot Gabriel Jesus – with the Premier League outfit holding the belief that they can secure a deal for the forward, so long as rival suitors, Barcelona, do not ‘rekindle their interest’.
The La Liga giants had been heavily linked with a move for the nine-cap gem, although their ongoing financial woes have seemingly put paid to any hopes of a deal, for now, with Jesse Marsch’s side set to demand around £45m.
The Emirates outfit are believed to be joined in their interest, however, by north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, while Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea are also said to be monitoring the situation, albeit with the Blues concentrating on a deal for Ousmane Dembele.
Sporting director Edu has already acted swiftly this summer to secure the notable arrival of Porto star, Fabio Vieira, with the Portuguese playmaker set to join the club in a £34m deal having shone for the Primeira Liga champions in recent seasons.
Despite only making his senior, first-team debut at the tail end of the 2019/20 campaign, the 22-year-old has gone on to score ten goals and register a further 18 assists in the club in all competitions, proving himself a real dynamic, creative presence in the final third.
The attacking midfielder enjoyed a particularly profitable 2021/22 campaign in which he scored six goals and provided an additional 14 assists in just 27 outings in the league alone, unsurprisingly recording an outstanding 7.45 average match rating, as per Sofascore – the fifth-highest in Sergio Conceicao’s squad.
The £22.5m-rated starlet will provide further creativity and attacking spark to a squad already littered with young, explosive talent, with Arteta set to have a wealth of forward options at his disposal next term.
That competition for places could be strengthened even further by the addition of Raphinha, however, with it a mouthwatering thought as to just how devastating both the “outrageous” talent – as he has been dubbed by Anthony Lewis – and the aforementioned Vieira can be in partnership next season.
With the younger man likely to operate in a more central, midfield role, the former Rennes star – who made the move to Elland Road from France in a £17m deal two years – is likely to provide further threat from either flank, posing a real danger to any defence with his lethal left foot.
That quality was evident last term as the £40.5m-rated “baller” – as described by teammate Tyler Roberts – recorded an impressive haul of 11 goals and three assists, taking his total tally to 29 goal contributions for the Yorkshire outfit in the top-flight over the last two campaigns combined.
With his 14 goals and assists from last term, as well as the 20 goal contributions of potential colleague Vieira, Arteta and co could potentially be gaining 34 extra goals and assists to their squad next term, with that added quality only set to boost their hopes of a top-four berth.
There may still be work to do to get the deal done, although bringing in the Leeds man could help Arsenal form a devastating attacking duo.