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Fabrizio Romano gives update on Arsenal’s pursuit of Raphinha


Arsenal didn’t struggle for goals last season, scoring 88 times in 38 Premier League games, but Mikel Arteta is on the hunt for another forward to bolster the squad for their upcoming Champions League campaign.

The Gunners have been linked with Raphinha after his underwhelming debut season at Barcelona, but Fabrizio Romano says Arsenal aren’t making him a priority right now as they’re finalising deals for Declan Rice and Jurrien Timber.

He told Give Me Sport: “All these names are not something concrete for Arsenal. With Raphinha but also with all the others it’s not something that they are concretely working on right now. So the situation is very quiet. The focus is on Timber and Rice because these are two very expensive deals.”

Barcelona paid £55m to sign Raphinha from Leeds United last summer and made him a regular for most of the season, but he didn’t get off to a good start in Spain – the 26-year-old managed only two goals and two assists until the new year.

Raphinha improved in the second half of the campaign, contributing 14 goals in 36 La Liga appearances overall, but he admitted struggling to settle. Numerous clubs have been linked with the Brazilian international, but he’s not looking to leave Barca this summer.

Arsenal don’t exactly have a fervent need to sign another wide forward either, with Arteta boasting Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard in the first-team. There’s also the returning Nicolas Pépé and Reiss Nelson who will strengthen Arsenal’s attack, so Raphinha isn’t a priority for good reason.

If anything, the North Londoners could do with a striker to take the burden off Gabriel Jesus, as Eddie Nketiah managed only four Premier League goals last season. Timber and Rice could be confirmed as Arsenal players this week, but Romano’s comments suggest another lucrative arrival may not be on the cards unless funds can be generated.

Raphinha has 17 goals and 12 assists from 65 Premier League appearances, so he’s proven himself in England before. It just remains to be seen if he wants out of Barcelona after just one year and if Arsenal are willing to pay more than £55m to get a deal done.

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