Raphinha wants to join Arsenal
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Fabrizio Romano says Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is 'really in love with Raphinha'

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Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is in love with Leeds United star Raphinha and wants to sign him in the coming days.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian winger this month. Just a couple of days ago, Edu reportedly tabled a formal bid to sign the 25-year-old attacker, but that was immediately rejected by Leeds United.

Reports revealed yesterday that Arsenal are preparing a second bid to sign Raphinha, who almost looks certain to leave Elland Road in the coming weeks, just two years after joining Leeds.

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Shedding more light on Arsenal’s interest, Romano has backed Arteta to sign the winger to replace Nicolas Pepe.

Fabrizio Romano says Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is in love with Raphinha

In his column on CaughtOffside, Romano wrote: “The Raphinha situation is truly one of the craziest in recent years. Barcelona have had an agreement with the Brazilian on personal terms since late February, but the idea of offering €40 million (£34.5m) is far from the demands of Leeds who want at least £65 million.

“Arsenal have made a first offer turned down by Leeds, while Tottenham are preparing a proposal and Chelsea have explored the situation with a direct call from Todd Boehly. Raphinha had given his ok to Barcelona as a priority for months but is now really open to listening to English clubs. The decision will take a few days.

“In my opinion, it would be nice to keep seeing him in the Premier League and there is a very good chance for that to happen: for example, I know that Arteta is really in love with Raphinha, but Tottenham and Chelsea are absolutely in the race.

“Of all the clubs involved, I think Arsenal need him the most. I revealed in one of my earlier columns that Nicolas Pepe is available this summer, and Raphinha is the kind of talent the Gunners need to replace the disappointing Ivorian forward.”

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TBR View:

It is no surprise that Arteta loves Raphinha.

The Brazilian, branded as ‘amazing’ by Illan Meslier, is a brilliant player to watch and is absolutely adored by everyone in and around Leeds United. He has been a fine player in the Premier League over the last two years, and he’d fit in perfectly at Arsenal as well.

However, it’s hard to imagine how Raphinha can become a first-choice starter at the Emirates.

Bukayo Saka owns the right-wing spot and that’s unlikely to change. Gabriel Martinelli has done well on the opposite side and so has Emile Smith Rowe.

We’re not quite sure where Raphinha would fit in apart from being a backup to Saka, but if Arteta really is in love with him, he must have a plan already.

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