Arsenal director Edu Gaspar has confirmed that they spoke to Barcelona new arrival Raphinha before his transfer to Camp Nou this summer.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, Arsenal director Edu Gaspar has claimed that he held talks with Deco, the agent of Brazilian winger Raphinha, before his move to Barcelona earlier this month.
Raphinha had been a man in demand in the transfer market with a host of clubs gunning for his signing, with Chelsea and Barcelona fighting it out for his transfer, while the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal were in the mix too.
Indeed, reports claimed that Arsenal had even launched an offer for the 25-year-old winger, which Leeds deemed inadequate and dismissed. While Chelsea had a bid accepted Raphinha wanted a transfer to Camp Nou. And ultimately, Barcelona prevailed in the race and signed the Brazilian in a deal worth a total of €67 million.
Now, Edu has confirmed that Raphinha was indeed on Arsenal’s agenda, claiming that they spoke with his agent, Deco, who made it abundantly clear that the winger had his heart set on a transfer to Barcelona.
Edu says that Raphinha always made his intentions clear that he wanted to move to Barcelona 👇 pic.twitter.com/r4UqjnoRVz
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) July 25, 2022
“People think we went in too deep about Raphinha, because Raphinha was everywhere. It’s fair we did have some conversations with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship [with him] – we are friends,” Edu said.
“I just said to Deco, ‘Can you explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’ and he was clear, ‘Edu, we have a good relationship but I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since a long time ago’.
“Okay, thank you very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation. If not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship,” Edu added.
Arsenal may have missed out on Raphinha, but they have made some very good signings, bringing in Fabio Vieira, Marquinhos, Matt Turner, Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko. However, transfer business might not be done at the Emirates just yet, with Edu hinting that more players could arrive before the window closes.
“I think we have to be prepared for every situation. We still feel the transfer window is open and the most important thing is to be prepared for everything, every scenario, because opportunities can happen. Clubs can approach us, players probably want to go on loan, so there’s still lots to do, but again, being prepared for me is the most important [thing] and for sure we are very much prepared for almost everything,” he said.