Arsenal will reportedly provide stiff competition to Barcelona in the race to sign Raphinha from Leeds United in the summer transfer window.

Speaking on his Here We Go podcast, as quoted by Daily Express, reputed Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Arsenal could also be a part of the race to sign Raphinha in the summer transfer window. The Gunners have “asked for information” about the Leeds United ace, a target for Barcelona.

Romano said, “I can tell you that Arsenal also ask for information about Raphinha of Leeds. So [Cody] Gakpo is a player they are following but also Raphinha is a player they like. But it’s really complicated because Barcelona are leading the race.”

Raphinha has been nothing short of a revelation since joining Leeds United from Stade Rennais in October 2020. While he was a part of an enterprising side that left many surprising in the 2020/21 season, the Brazilian international has become a talismanic figure for the Whites in a difficult ongoing campaign.

With Leeds flirting with relegation from the season’s opening day, Raphinha has taken on the mantle of guiding his team away from the drop zone, amassing nine goals and three assists in 27 Premier League appearances thus far this term. The Brazilian international’s productive campaign has captured the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, including Barcelona and Arsenal.

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Raphinha is reportedly the priority target for Barcelona heading into the summer transfer window. The Blaugrana might need to sign a long-term replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who is no closer to reaching an agreement over a contract renewal. In addition, doubts have emerged around Adama Traore’s future at Camp Nou.

The Spanish international might not rejoin Barcelona permanently in the summer transfer window. Raphinha is thus a viable target for the Catalan giants, who have reportedly prepared a new offer to sign him from Leeds. But Barcelona might have to fend off stiff competition from Arsenal to land the 25-year-old.

Arsenal will continue Mikel Arteta’s squad remodelling in the summer transfer window. This year, the Gunners will focus on bolstering the attacking unit, bringing Raphinha into the picture. And while signing a striker will be Arsenal’s priority, securing the services of a bonafide game-changer like Raphinha will also be a step in the right direction.

Also Read: Three strikers Arsenal should consider in the summer

But, as Romano said, Raphinha is likelier to join Barcelona than any other suitor at the moment. So it will be interesting to see if Arsenal can tip the scales in their favour or if the Brazilian forward moves to Camp Nou.

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