Arsenal to battle Spurs for Leeds United star Raphinha as Chelsea cool their interest

    Arsenal to battle Spurs for Leeds United star Raphinha as Chelsea cool their interest
    The Brazilian’s dream move to Barcelona is now on the rocks (Pictures: Getty Images)

    Arsenal and Tottenham are ready to go head-to-head once again to sign Leeds United star Raphinha, though Chelsea have distanced themselves from the transfer tussle, according to reports.

    The Brazilian winger has been in discussions with Barcelona over a move to Camp Nou, though the Spanish giants are still dealing with considerable financial issues and have so far been unable to complete a deal.

    According to The Athletic, there are concerns that Barca cannot fund the transfer and that has opened the door to north London rivals Spurs and Arsenal.

    Arsenal to battle Spurs for Leeds United star Raphinha
    Raphinha had been hoping to secure a move to Barcelona (Picture: Getty)

    Mikel Arteta has been keen to add a new winger to his squad this summer, though Raphinha’s preference is to play on the right wing – a role already occupied by Bukayo Saka.

    Similarly, Tottenham signed Dejan Kulusevski on loan from Juventus in January and are expected to make the deal permanent, with the Swede having impressed enormously since making the switch to the Premier League.

    Antonio Conte is keen to add an attacker who can play across the frontline and has also been targeting a move for Everton’s Richarlison, who is more capable of playing through the middle than Raphinha.

    Spurs will not sign both players and Raphinha is believed to be a backup option to Richarlison if Everton play hardball over a fee for the former Watford man.

    Arsenal, meanwhile, have long-standing interest in Raphinha though he is not believed to be a priority signing, with the Gunners in need of a new central striker and a midfielder.

    Leeds are believed to be sympathetic to Raphinha’s desire to play at a higher level – particularly the Champions League, which Spurs can offer – though they will still demand that their valuation is met.

    Arsenal to battle Spurs for Leeds United star Raphinha
    Chelsea were keen but are focusing on Ousmane Dembele (Picture: Getty)

    Raphinha is expected to cost around £47m – just over twice what Leeds paid to Rennes two years ago – and the Brazilian has intimated that he will not sign a new contract with the club.

    Chelsea had also been interested in Raphinha but are not expected to rival Spurs and Arsenal for his signature, with the west Londoners instead working on a deal to sign Ousmane Dembele – who will be out of contract at the end of the month and available on a free.

    Arsenal have yet to land any marquee signings so far this summer, while Tottenham have wrapped up a deal for Ivan Perisic, agreed a fee for Yves Bissouma and are in pole position to sign right-back Djed Spence.

    MORE : Manchester United hero Paul Parker backs Erik ten Hag to sign Raphinha from Leeds

    MORE : Leeds United set asking price for Barcelona, Arsenal, Man Utd and Chelsea transfer target Raphinha

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