Arsenal eye Leeds star Raphinha as possible Pepe replacement


Arsenal are interested in Leeds attacker Raphinha, GOAL understands.

The Gunners are looking to bolster their attack this summer, with Mikel Arteta keen to add more goals to his side.

Manchester City frontman Gabriel Jesus is the priority for the central striking role, but his Brazilian international team-mate Raphinha is also a player who the Gunners are keeping tabs on.

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What’s the latest?

Arsenal have not tabled an offer for the Raphinha and have yet to hold any official talks with Leeds over the 25-year-old.

But GOAL can confirm that the attacker, who scored 11 Premier League goals last season, is on their list of targets this summer, as first reported by The Telegraph.

Barcelona are also believed to be keen on Raphinha, who has two years left on his contract at Elland Road.

Where would Raphinha fit in?

Raphinha mainly operates on the right hand side of the attack for Leeds, the position Bukayo Saka currently occupies for Arsenal.

Should the Gunners firm up their interest and go on to sign Raphinha, he would not replace Saka, who has just been named Arsenal's player of the season for the second successive season.

He would more than likely come in and add to the competition at Emirates Stadium, with Arteta keen to strengthen his squad to ensure it can cope with the extra demands of European football during the coming 2022/23 campaign.

It’s expected that club record signing Nicolas Pepe will leave Arsenal this summer.

What has Raphinha said about his future?

Raphinha is currently away on international duty with Brazil, but has claimed that his future at club level is now out of his hands.

Asked about his future earlier this week, the winger told reporters: "The next game, against Japan.

"Then I go on vacation. I have a contract with Leeds until 2024, my future is in the hands of Deco (his agent) and Leeds, I have my mind on the national team, on the game and also on my vacation - we need a vacation.

"I have a contract with Leeds and this issue is resolved by my manager. When something is right, he sends [it to] me."

Further reading

Nketiah contract update as Arsenal confirm five players have been released

Marquinhos: Arsenal's new teenage signing could be another Martinelli

Guendouzi's €10.5m Arsenal exit imminent as Gunners wait on Jesus and Tielemans