Arsenal chief Edu opens up on ‘deep’ Raphinha interest and why he snubbed move for Barca

Edu says he and Arteta are 'aligned on all decisions'

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Arsenal technical director Edu has gone into depth about the club’s failed pursuit of Brazilian winger Raphinha. The Gunners had an offer for Raphinha turned down by Leeds earlier this summer.

Chelsea were also keen on the player and agreed a fee of around £55million. However, his dream was to join Barcelona and once the La Liga club matched the Blues’ offer, the deal was pretty straightforward.

Edu has now opened up on what happened between Arsenal and Raphinha. The former midfielder spoke to the player’s agent Deco to ask what Raphinha’s plans were this summer.

And Deco was truthful to Edu that Barca was the 25-year-old’s priority move if he left Leeds in this window. Edu told Sky Sports: “People think we went in too deep about Raphinha, because Raphinha was everywhere.

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“It’s fair we did have some conversations with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship [with him] – we are friends. I just said to Deco, ‘Can you explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’

“And he was clear, ‘Edu, we have a good relationship but I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since a long time ago’.

“Okay, thank you very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation. If not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship.”

Arsenal have spent almost £120m on five new signings so far this summer. Oleksandr Zinchenko joined from Manchester City last Friday to make it back-to-back summer windows where the Gunners have broken the £100m mark.

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But Edu is still open to further additions if the right opportunities come up. He added: “I think we have to be prepared for every situation.

“We still feel the transfer window is open and the most important thing is to be prepared for everything, every scenario, because opportunities can happen. Clubs can approach us, players probably want to go on loan, so there’s still lots to do, but again, being prepared for me is the most important [thing] and for sure we are very much prepared for almost everything.”

Arsenal’s final game of pre-season is this Saturday against Sevilla in the Emirates Cup. Their Premier League campaign begins the following Friday away to Crystal Palace.

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