Arsenal handed major transfer boost as Leeds plan second bid for Raphinha replacement


Leeds United have reportedly had an offer of €30million (£26million) rejected for Portuguese winger Otavio, but the Yorkshire-based club are set to make another bid soon that will equal his release clause of €40million (£34.3million). The proposed move is good news for Arsenal as it means that Jesse Marsch has already eyed a replacement for Brazil star Raphinha.

Arsenal are set to be one of the Premier League’s busiest clubs this summer as they prepare for the return of European football to the Emirates Stadium. Despite being pipped to the Champions League by Tottenham there was plenty for Arsenal fans to be excited about last season and the break could be equally as riveting. Last season saw Mikel Arteta splash over £140million on new recruits and we could see a similar outlay this time around.

The Gunners announced the signing of Fabio Vieira on Tuesday, with the announcement following the arrival of Marquinhos last week. Another name on their wish list, however, is Raphinha.

READ MORE: Chelsea’s Ousmane Dembele blow gives Arsenal and Tottenham huge Raphinha transfer boost

Arsenal are said to have already had an opening bid rejected, but the Gunners are reportedly intent on signing the 25-year-old with a second offer expected to be on the way. There’s also been suggestions that Tottenham have informed Leeds that they’re planning to make a bid of their own for Raphinha, although, according to The Athletic, moving to Tottenham is his fourth choice option behind Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Luckily, as per Catalonian outlet ara, with Ousmane Dembele set to remain at Barcelona, the club will no longer pursue Raphinha, whilst Chelsea are believed to be focused on bringing in Raheem Sterling first, making the Gunners frontrunners for his signature.

And in what is more good news, it looks as though Leeds have already identified a replacement for the forward in Otavio. According to reports by Portuguese outlet O Jogo, Leeds have made a £25.9million bid for the Portugal star, but Porto took little time over their decision and immediately rejected the offer.

Nevertheless, a further report from Portuguese newspaper Mercado Azul has stated that Otavio has a release clause of €40million (£34.3million) at the club until July 15 and Leeds are expected to match that in the coming weeks. If they fail to complete a move before that date, his release clause will rise to €60million (£51.5million).

Of course, Leeds may be signing Otavio to simply strengthen their squad, but the timing of the proposed move is significant given the stark interest in Raphinha. It appears as though they’re preparing for the possibility of life without the Brazilian, which is obviously a boost for Arsenal and their negotiations.

With Leeds evading the drop, Raphinha now has a £65million release clause, according to The Guardian, which they’re holding out for. This may well end up being one of those long and difficult transfer sagas, but only time wi…

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