Arsenal do have a “genuine” interest in Leeds winger Raphinha but there are a couple of hurdles that need to be overcome before a deal can be finalised, according to Goal journalist Charles Watts.
The website’s Gunners correspondent claims that Barcelona will have to drop out of the race, and Nicolas Pepe would need to leave the Emirates, for the transfer to go ahead:
“I’m told it’s absolutely genuine and Arsenal are very much are interested in Raphinha. If there is a deal to be done this summer, they will try to do it. It is just a case of everything falling into place with what happens with Barcelona, what happens with Nicolas Pepe. As usual in the transfer window, all things are pretty complicated.”
Watts’ remarks do back up what David Ornstein said last week. Getting Pepe off the club’s books looks to be key to unlocking the deal, as Arsenal need to free up space in the squad.
While the Gunners are willing to let the Ivorian international leave for a knockdown price, there has, so far, been no takers for the club’s record signing.
The issue with Barca is probably much easier to resolve. Leeds are reportedly demanding in the region of €65m (£56m) to €75m (£64m) for Raphinha, which are figures that the La Liga side are unlikely to match.