Here are your Leeds United evening headlines for Wednesday, June 22.
Wilshere on Raphinha ‘quality’
Former Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has given his thumbs up to his former side’s pursuit of Leeds United winger Raphinha. The Gunners have made their first move for the Brazilian, only to be knocked back (see below).
It is believed a second bid is likely and Wilshere has admitted he would love to see the 25-year-old turning out for this former side.
“He’s [Raphinha] someone who came to England and adapted straight away,” Wilshere told talkSPORT (via football.london). That always shows the quality of a player because some players – even top players – take a little while to get to grips with the Premier League.
“He’s got a lot of experience in a short amount of time and was in a relegation battle last season. He’s one I would like to see at Arsenal.”
Leeds United officially reject Arsenal bid
Leeds United have today rejected Arsenal’s opening offer for Raphinha, according to the Athletic. The Gunners tabled their opening offer on Tuesday evening, becoming the first club to do so amid interest from Barcelona, Tottenham and Chelsea.
And while the exact value of the bid was unknown, it is thought to be some way off the Whites’ valuation of around ?60million. Arsenal will no doubt come back with improved offers, which may alert those in Spain after a few days of quiet.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein wrote: “Arsenal’s interest in Raphinha remains strong. Mikel Arteta is thought to be extremely keen on the player and Edu has good links to his agent Deco.The 25-year-old Brazil international has long been expected to join Barcelona and the Catalan side are known to be his favoured option, although their pursuit is complicated by financial problems.”
Leeds are sympathetic to Raphinha’s desire to compete in Europe but are under no obligation to sell and do not look likely to ease up on their demands.
Raphinha agent snapped in Barca
Raphinha’s agent Deco was pictured alongside Barcelona president Joan Laporta just hours after Arsenal’s opening bid, reigniting talk of a move to the Spanish giants. They were snapped at a table alongside ex-Barca striker Samuel Eto’o, who uploaded the photo on his Instagram with the caption (In Catalan): How great! @fcbarcelona @deco_official @jlaportaoficial long live Barca!”
Whether the timing of the photo was purely incidental or something more measured remains to be seen, but Arsenal’s bid will have caught the attention of Laporta and he knows his relationship with Deco is the trump card.
The Catalan club have reportedly agreed terms with Raphinha and Deco, and the agent was supposedly blocking other approaches at they awaited an agreement between the two parties.