Raphinha to Arsenal ‘very close’ with Leeds star hoping for transfer ‘this week’

Leeds United star Raphinha is very close to sealing a switch to Arsenal and is hoping to push through a move this week, according to reports in Brazil.

The Brazilian ace, 25, had long been touted with a move to Barcelona after aiding the Yorkshire club to Premier League survival. A last-minute winner from Jack Harrison helped ensure their top-flight status, in a final day shootout that saw Burnley drop into the Championship.

Raphinha still has two years remaining on his current deal at Elland Road but is keen to pursue a move elsewhere as he has ambitions of playing in Europe next season.

According to Goal in Brazil, the Leeds winger has grown frustrated with a lack of contact from the La Liga giants, amid their depleting financial situation, and now prefers a move to the Emirates.

Barca have spent months considering Raphinha as a replacement for Ousmane Dembele – who will almost certainly leave the Camp Nou when his contract expires at the end of June – but are still yet to approach Leeds with a formal offer.

The Spanish club, though, are operating on a shoe-string budget and would have to shift high-earners such as Frenkie de Jong out of Catalunya before being permitted to sign Raphinha. But the Brazilian is fed up with waiting and is eager to secure his future.

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It's stated Leeds will command a €50million (£43m) fee for one of their prized assets – a figure Barcelona were never willing to match – and Arsenal are now the frontrunners for his signature. Mikel Arteta is in need of attacking reinforcements to cope with the added pressure of Europa League football next term and both parties are in favour of the move.

The report even states that a deal could be reached as early as this week after Raphinha decided against waiting to hear back from Barcelona. The flamboyant wideman managed 11 goals for relegation-threatened Leeds last campaign and would signal a clear sign of intent from Arteta.

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