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Arsenal surge ahead in race to sign Leeds winger Raphinha

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As per a report from Goal Brazil, Raphinha is close to joining Arsenal and a deal with Leeds United could be wrapped-up by the end of the week.

This could come as a major boost for Mikel Arteta’s side who have been tracking Raphinha for the past few months. The Brazilian winger was a breakout performer in Leeds United’s underwhelming campaign last term. The Yorkshire-based outfit barely avoided relegation and it took a final day victory to confirm their survival.

Raphinha has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona and has had an agreement with the Blaugrana in place for quite some time. But, Los Cules have not yet made any approaches to Leeds for the 25-year-old due to their delicate financial situation and Goal says they cannot meet their £50m asking price.

The report claims that Raphinha does not want to wait any longer for Barca and suggests he is now ready to complete his move to the Gunners this week after the north Londoners put forward a lucrative proposal.

It is also understood that if nothing changes, Raphinha will be an Arsenal player by the end of this week. The 25-year-old has left everything in the hands of his agent Deco, who had been working to secure a move to Barcelona. But that seems to have changed and Goal says the South American now looks set to join the Gunners over the coming days.

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Chelsea and Tottenham have also been linked with Raphinha so the Gunners should move quickly if they want to sign the winger. Moreover, they do not have Champions League football so the player may have his head turned if the likes of Chelsea or Tottenham step-up their interest.

The Brazilian international will be a good addition to Arteta’s system. He is good in 1v1 situations, can play aerial and long balls, and is a set-piece specialist. He could be very effective against sides that employ a low-block.

The Gunners are in need of a genuine goal-scorer. They have already parted ways with Alexandre Lacazzette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who have joined Lyon and Barcelona, respectively. Eddie Nketiah has been renewed and could have a major role to play next season. But Arsenal still need more attacking options and Raphinha would be an excellent signing if they can get this deal over the line.

This past term Arsenal managed to score only 61 goals and they must improve on it if they are to challenge for a UEFA Champions League football spot next season.

Raphinha was one of the very few positives in a vastly underperforming Leeds United outfit and the South American looks set for the first big move of his career.

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