By Andrew Maddox

27th Jun, 2022 | 10:00am

Leeds United star Raphinha no longer wanted by Arsenal as Gunners withdraw from transfer race

Leeds United talisman Raphinha is no longer a target for Arsenal after Mikel Arteta’s side agreed a deal for Gabriel Jesus, according to SPORT.

The Athletic reported on Saturday [25 June] that Arsenal were favourites for the Brazilian international, with Chelsea and Tottenham also interested in him.

However, SPORT are now claiming that the London giants have now withdrawn from the race to sign Raphinha.

The report claims that Spanish giants Barcelona are still Raphinha’s preferred destination, and he will continue to push back against Premier League interest.

SPORT also dismissed the earlier report from The Athletic, saying he was never close to a move to Arsenal.

Another twist in the tale

Arsenal’s suggested decision will come as a boost to Leeds, but they still need to keep an eye on Barcelona.

It is no secret that Raphinha wants a move to Spain, with the Daily Express also reporting that he is willing to wait for them.

He will go with the board’s blessing, with the earlier Athletic report saying the club were “sympathetic” to his Champions League ambitions.

However, there is still the question of money when it comes to any Barcelona transfer.

Leeds fans have already been frustrated by the £45million fee Manchester City agreed for Kalvin Phillips last week, as reported by Sky Sports.

Barcelona’s financial issues have been well-documented over the last year or so and Raphinha is not their only high-profile target.

The cash-strapped Spanish giants offered Bayern Munich £34.4 million for Robert Lewandowski last week, with Sky Sports reporting that Bayern want £52 million.

With Barcelona trying to lowball other clubs for star players and Leeds already agreeing to a fee for Phillips that was lower than expected, fans may be worried that they will be left short-changed.

However, if Raphinha is as keen on a move to Barca as reports claim and he continues to push back other clubs, it leaves the door open to him staying.

While it may only be temporary while the player waits for Barcelona to find the cash, fans will surely appreciate having their star man for a bit longer.

In other Leeds United news, Victor Orta has drawn up a four-man shortlist for a new striker according to reports.