Tottenham could deal Arsenal another transfer blow as they join Raphinha race
Arteta 'in pain' after Arsenal miss out on Champions League
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Tottenham Hotspur could get another one over their north London rivals Arsenal by launching a pursuit of Leeds United winger Raphinha. Both clubs are waiting on the sidelines as doubts loom over whether Barcelona can afford the 25-year-old this summer amid their financial limitations.
Tottenham have already welcomed Ivan Perisic and Fraser Forster on free transfers and are closing in on the signing of highly-rated Middlesbrough right-back. Spurs have also agreed a £25million deal for Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Yves Bissouma, heavily linked with an Arsenal switch.
Antonio Conte and sporting director Fabio Paratici are spearheading a summer of change as the former reshapes the squad he inherited from Nuno Espirito Santo last season. And after seemingly snatching Bissouma from Arsenal’s grasps, history could quickly repeat itself with Raphinha.
The Athletic report there are growing concerns over whether Barcelona, the Brazilian winger’s preference, can fund a deal while they struggle with debts over £1bn. He’s also a target for both Arsenal and Tottenham, with Leeds willing to cash in on him if their asking price is met.
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Raphinha has been a sensation since moving to England in 2020 to play under Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League and is destined to make a big-money switch soon. He has registered 17 goals and 12 assists in 65 top-flight games; therefore, the Elland Road club will respect his desire to play European football.
Tottenham are also understood to be interested in another Brazilian winger, Everton’s Richarlison. But one will likely be an alternative option to the other as Conte looks to add one more forward to his ranks before his first full season as Spurs head coach.
Arteta is also looking to bolster his attacking options, though, as well as his midfield, plans which Tottenham threaten to damage. After surrendering a top-four spot to their bitter rivals last season and narrowly missing out on returning to the Champions League, Arsenal won’t want to endure similar frustrations in the transfer market.
Barcelona will hope to raise funds for such a transfer by offloading Frenkie de Jong, with Manchester United the frontrunners for his signature. That outcome would be the worst-case scenario for both north London clubs, given it’d deny them a transfer target and strengthen next season’s top-four rivals simultaneously.
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