Journalist David Ornstein has shared the latest developments regarding the future of Leeds United talisman, Raphinha.
Writing on Twitter about the 25-year-old’s situation, the transfer insider revealed that fellow Premier League side Arsenal are set to “intensify” their bid to sign the Brazilian, with the player himself said to be “open” to the move.
“Arsenal to intensify efforts next week to sign Raphinha from Leeds. More talks planned with 25yo’s camp & increased offer expected. Feeling among other suitors is #AFC now leading & he’s said to be open to joining them.”
In the attached piece for The Athletic, the report suggested that the Gunners are now ‘firm favourites’ to secure the nine-cap gem’s signature, having already seen a bid rejected by the Elland Road outfit.
It looks as if the Yorkshire side’s worst fears are set to be realised, with the gifted playmaker – who signed on a £17m deal from Rennes two years ago – seemingly on his way out of the club in the coming weeks.
That £40.5m-rated man’s potential destination will no doubt further anger the club’s supporters, with it looking as if Jesse Marsch’s side will have to come up against the fleet-footed forward in the Premier League next term, having perhaps hoped for a switch abroad to La Liga giants, Barcelona.
The Whites are clearly fully aware of just how much damage the £63k-per-week sensation can inflict on an opposition defence, with the one-time Sporting CP man having chipped in with 17 goals and 12 assists in the league over the last two seasons combined.
That impressive haul includes a tally of 11 goals and three assists in the top-flight during the 2021/22 campaign, with the 5 foot 9 speedster proving instrumental in helping Jesse Marsch’s side stave off the drop at the end of a largely bleak season.
While not totally consistent throughout the entire campaign, notably earning criticism from pundit Danny Mills for his “attitude”, Raphinha stepped up when it mattered most to ensure the club’s top-flight survival, netting a vital spot-kick on the final day to set Leeds on their way to a dramatic win over Brentford on the road.
The jubilant scenes that ensued – which saw the player celebrating wildly with the away support – showcased the forward’s sheer delight in helping his side avoid a return to the second tier, although just a matter of weeks later it looks as though he could well spoil the party by heading for the exit door.