Arsenal have reportedly pulled out of the race to sign Leeds United winger Raphinha, a target for Barcelona valued at €50 million.
According to Spanish publication SPORT, Arsenal have pulled out of the race for Leeds United winger Raphinha after completing a deal for Manchester City attacker Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners were reportedly close to beating Barcelona for Raphinha’s signature, and the Blaugrana now have a free run for the 24-year-old.
Jesus will join Arsenal for a reported sum of €52 million, with the move set to be made official next week. The Brazilian international will reportedly earn €11.6 million per year, making him the highest-paid footballer at the club.
Signing an attacker was on top of Arsenal’s priority list following the departures of Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang this year. The former is set to officially exit the club as his contract expires this month, while the Gabonese international’s contract was terminated in January as he joined Barcelona.
Eddie Nketiah, meanwhile, signed a new long-term contract with Arsenal, but they were eager to add a world-class number nine to their squad, which they have done with Jesus. And with the Manchester City attacker’s arrival, Arsenal have now dropped their interest in Raphinha.
As per SPORT, Arsenal were never leading the race for the Leeds United winger’s signature, who has had his heart set on a move to Barcelona. Moreover, there is complete ‘harmony’ between the involved parties, and an official approach from Barcelona can be expected in the coming weeks.
Leeds, who narrowly avoided relegation last season, are eager to strengthen in multiple positions. They will want to invest the transfer fee earned from Raphinha’s sale in their summer pursuits and are quoting a €50 million sum for the Brazilian international.
Barcelona are not in a position to commit such a sum due to Financial Fair Play regulations and will try to bring down Leeds’s €50 million asking price. The Blaugrana will need to sell some of their top earners to create space for new signings. Midfielder Frenkie de Jong seems to be the one heading toward an exit, with Manchester United reportedly closing in on the Dutchman’s signature.