By George Overhill

22nd Jun, 2022 | 2:10pm

Arsenal to return with improved offer for Leeds United star Raphinha

Arsenal are set to return with an improved bid for Raphinha after Leeds United rejected their opening bid, according to the Evening Standard.

The Gunners finally broke ranks from the circling parties to make the first official bid for the Brazilian on Tuesday evening (21 June), but it was swiftly rejected by the Whites Wednesday for being far too low [The Athletic].

However, manager Mikel Arteta is said to be “extremely keen” on the 25-year-old and links between the London club and the player’s camp are strong.

David Ornstein in The Athletic reports that the player ranks them third out of his preferences behind favourites Barcelona first and Chelsea, with Spurs, who are reportedly lining up their own bid [Gianluigi Longari], in fourth.

But with the Catalans pursuit “complicated by financial problems” the Premier League giants are attempting to pounce, and Arsenal are apparently not put off by being knocked back.

The report says: “The north London club made an offer for the Brazilian on Tuesday night but it fell well below Leeds’ valuation. Leeds have now turned down that bid.

“Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha remains strong. Mikel Arteta is thought to be extremely keen and Edu has good links to his agent Deco.”

Persistent

In fairness to those at the Emirates at least they are putting some money on the table, but they are going to have to learn the same lesson as their counterparts at the Camp Nou – that this deal won’t be cheap.

United’s stance is not to be vindictive and by all accounts if a reasonable fee comes in they are willing to let Raphinha go, but they can’t do so for a discounted price.

The initial reaction to the news that the Gunners had actually made a move was that they had little chance of being successful.

But with a timescale for the interest from Barcelona actually crystallising into a proper bid currently anyone’s guess, and it as yet unclear how the new Todd Boehly-led Chelsea will behave in the market, perhaps they have as good a chance as anyone.

Spurs have been throwing a lot of money around so far this summer, but if the Brazil international prefers their north London neighbours then an improved offer might be telling.

The prospect of him remaining at Elland Road until January can’t be ruled out, but after all arrows pointed to La Liga for so long the connections at the Emirates are suddenly becoming more prominent, notably around Deco.

In other Leeds United news, one Brazilian football expert has delivered an intriguing suggestion for the 25-year-old’s short term future.