Arsenal look set to lose Leeds winger Raphinha, with the Brazilian star ‘willing to wait’ to join Barcelona. The Gunners are the only club to present a formal offer for the star, but it was quickly rejected by Leeds as being too low. Given the player’s goal of moving to Spain, Mikel Arteta might be forced to look elsewhere to bolster his attack. Here Express Sport takes a look at the options they can turn to.
The Everton forward ended the season in fine form, scoring six times in his last nine games, with goals that proved crucial for the Toffees to stay in the Premier League.
However, the Brazilian international has made it clear that he would like to test himself at a higher level to solidify his position in the national team, so he looks set to leave Goodison Park.
The Gunners have been linked with a move for the player that could end up costing upwards of £50m. This could be off-putting for the north London club, but they could test Everton’s resolve with a lower bid as the club is suffering under the pressure of fair play financial regulations. This could be enough to force the Merseysiders to sell.
If Raphinha ends up joining Barcelona, he is likely to sign on as a replacement for Dembélé. The French forward has yet to accept a new contract with the La Liga giants and therefore could leave on a free transfer. That might be enough to tempt Gunners who could hire a mercurial talent for a very cheap price.
However, any deal for the wide-man would be difficult to achieve. The 25-year-old is understandably attracting interest from across Europe due to his contract situation, and has been linked with the likes of PSG and Chelsea. It would be a difficult deal to complete, but Arsenal would guarantee a player with world-class skills if they made it.
Arsenal have also been linked with a move to the West Ham star, which Bowen reported on last week, suggesting the club had made contact with the former Hull star’s representatives. The winger enjoyed a fantastic season for the Hammers scoring 17 times in all competitions last season. The signing of the English international would also bring additional benefits as it would help considerably weaken one of Arsenal’s closest rivals.
However, given Bowen’s importance to the way West Ham likes to play, it’s highly unlikely that David Moyes will sanction a sale for the player. The Scotsman is preparing to offer his key player a new contract to avoid attention elsewhere – but Arsenal could still be a tempting move for Bowen.
Recent reports have suggested that Chelsea are keen to get Sterling out of Manchester City, which could encourage Arsenal to hijack their rivals’ switch to the player they were very interested in last season.
An Arsenal transfer still seems remote given the high transfer fee involved and the club’s lack of Champions League football. Londoners are also keen to sign Gabriel Jesus from the Premier League champions and Pep Guardiola is unlikely to sanction a two-man transfer to a potential rival. But Sterling cannot be completely ruled out of a move to Arsenal, given the interest in him.