Leeds United have given Arsenal their asking price as the Gunners “push” to sign Raphinha ahead of Barcelona, according to Relevo.
The Catalan side had been at the front of the queue for weeks but their financial constraints mean a move to sign the Brazilian has stagnated, and the relationship between themselves and the Whites is reportedly “cold”.
The Times have reported meetings between the 25-year-old’s agent, Deco, and Arsenal director of football, Edu, and that Elland Road officials expect the first official bid of the entire saga to arrive soon.
United have reportedly told Arsenal they want €55million [£47.2million] as an upfront payment, with an additional €15million [£12.9million] in bonus payments.
Chancing their arm
Whether Raphinha himself actually wants to make a move to the Emirates is another matter, but if they are prepared to come up with a significant offer they at least give themselves a chance.
It has long seemed like the door was wide open for Barcelona to complete a deal for the Brazil international, yet they still have failed to walk through it.
While they presumably wait for either the sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United, or the windfall that should come from the ability to sell off part of their TV and merchandising rights after a vote of the club members [ESPN], the Gunners are going to have a go.
The main thing working in the North Londoners favour, aside from the fact they appear to be the first actually willing to make a bid, is the fact that the departures of both Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette in the last six months means there should be a clear opening for the ex-Rennes man.
Deco seems like he is the main reason that his former side from La Liga remain in pole position, but even he may finally be lining up back-up options ahead of a trip to the Camp Nou to hold ultimatum talks next week [Mundo Deportivo].
The Gunners should at least be able to meet the asking price, which is as yet still beyond the Catalans, but the main problem for Mikel Arteta is that the likes of Tottenham and Chelsea can too whilst offering Champions League football.
If player and agent are now considering alternatives the Whites could be due the windfall that had long been expected.
In other Leeds United news, the club are chasing a striker who is attracting interest from across Europe.