Arsenal are set for a tough battle to secure the signature of Raphinha ahead of next season. However, Edu’s close relationship with his agent Deco could play a major part in persuading the Brazilian to make the switch to the Emirates Stadium.
On Tuesday evening, The Athletic’s David Ornstein had reported that Arsenal had a bid rejected by Leeds United, with the player also not viewing the Gunners as a preferred move with Chelsea and Barcelona both linked to the winger. Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has quoted Raphinha to cost around £65million.
Raphinha would certainly enhance Arteta’s firepower for the new campaign. It is Edu’s close relationship with Deco that could play a major factor.
Edu and Deco are constantly seen interacting on Instagram with the two Brazilians exchanging likes on their uploads. Edu is also seen repeatedly commenting on Deco’s posts and even wishing his daughter a happy birthday, highlighting the close ties between the pair.
Deco is having a major role to play in the destination of Raphinha’s next club. This was even confirmed by the player himself.
Speaking to the press ahead of Brazil’s friendly with Japan in June , Raphinha addressed his future at Leeds, but made clear his intention was to do anything to play for Brazil in Qatar.
“If I say that it doesn’t matter, I would be lying,” Raphinha said, as reported by Globo. “Knowing that there are less than six months left for the Cup, you have to be active in the clubs, that weighs on the decision, but I trust my potential
“If it’s to stay or leave, I’ll do my best, look for my space and I’ll try to be well for the World Cup.”
Questions then followed about his future at Leeds, to which he replied: “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 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.”
A deal for Raphinha would not have been at the forefront of Arsenal fans’ minds due to the club already having two left-footed wingers who are strongest on the right-hand side in Bukayo Saka and Nicolas Pepe. But the squad is set for a shake-up, which creates space for Raphinha in the team.
Nicolas Pepe’s future is uncertain at the club as the winger wants to leave Arsenal this summer and has instructed his agent to find him a new club, football.london understands. The winger has two years left on his deal and found the game time given to him by Arteta extremely limited during the previous campaign which has likely led to his desire for a way out of the club.
However, securing Raphinha seems a tough task due to the high valuation asked by Leeds United, and the level of competition that Arsenal is having to compete with. Despite this, Edu’s close ties with Deco could see him persuading the Brazilian to make the switch to north London.