Arsenal have put the wheels in motion regarding a possible move for Barcelona winger Raphinha after missing out on the signing of Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea, in line with reports. The Gunners had been chasing Mudryk all month long and were in advanced talks with Shakhtar Donetsk as recently as Saturday morning before Chelsea swooped in with a bid within the region of £88million to grab the Ukraine international for themselves.
Arsenal’s failure to wrap up a deal to land Mudryk has left them in desperate need of an alternate goal to pursue, although they may have the option to resolve the issue by rekindling their interest in Raphinha within the not-too-distant future. The north Londoners initially targeted the 26-year-old in the course of the summer before his move to the Nou Camp from Leeds United but have reached out to the Catalan giants in an effort to establish his availability within the wake of Chelsea’s pursuit of Mudryk, in line with Sport Italia.
It is alleged that Arsenal have drawn up a listing of potential signings within the wide positions but have taken a specific liking to Raphinha, who has didn’t live as much as expectations since joining Barcelona last yr. Those in power on the Spanish club are reportedly considering the potential of an early sale in an effort to recoup some money for the player, even though it stays to be seen whether Arsenal will eventually resolve to firm up their curiosity with an official bid in the approaching days.
They’re yet to make a firm offer in exchange for Raphinha, although ‘exploratory’ contacts have been revamped the previous couple of hours in an effort to establish the feasability of a possible move before the top of this month. Arsenal director Edu has made no secret of his admiration for the Barcelona man, with the 44-year-old revealing over the summer that he asked the forward’s agent, Deco, to maintain him within the loop regarding Raphinha’s availability prior to his move to Spain.
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Edu told Sky Sports: “I just said to Deco, ‘Are you able to explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’ and he was clear, ‘Edu, now we have a great relationship but I’m not going to mislead you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since an extended time ago’.
“[I said] ‘Okay, thanks very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation. If not, no problem and we feature on with our relationship’.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal favourite Kevin Campbell recently suggested that Mikel Arteta could resolve to make use of Raphinha in rotation with Bukayo Saka in an effort to increase the Gunners’ attacking threat on the flanks if a deal could be agreed before the January window slams shut.
“Saka could play on the left, they each could, to be honest,” Campbell told Football Insider. “That’s the attractive thing. They’ll each play on either flank. Saka has been overused, let’s be brutally honest.
“[Nicolas] Pepe must have been coming in and carrying the can but Mikel Arteta couldn’t depend on him. He needs any person he can depend on. If Saka is on the bench and Raphinha is playing you will get quality and work rate at the highest end of the pitch.
“You furthermore may know that he’s going to beat his man. That’s what you would like. You may mix and match and interchange, those pieces can move around. That is essential.”
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