Leeds United getting relegated from the Premier League could be a blessing in disguise for the Gunners. This is because it could give them the key to access to signing Raphinha.
According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Brazilian has a clause in his contract that if Leeds get relegated he will be available for £25m, but if they survive in the Premier League his release clause is £75m.
This should put Arsenal on red alert because Romano went on to claim that Mikel Arteta has asked for information about Raphinha at Leeds. It seems the club are looking to replace Nicolas Pepe, and Raphinha would certainly be an excellent acquisition.
It would have seemed bizarre for Arsenal to be linked with the Brazilian because the Gunners already have to two left-footed wingers who are strongest on the right-hand side in Bukayo Saka and Pepe. However, the Ivorian has seriously struggled for game time at the Emirates this season.
The north London side need to make the decision whether to keep or sell Pepe at the end of the season, as he enters the territory of having less than three years left on his contract.
Keeping him beyond two years remaining on his contract will massively debunk his value and increase the threat of losing him on a free transfer which would be an absolute nightmare considering his £72m price tag.
The Ivorian joined the club in 2019 for a club-record fee of £72m from Lille with the highest of expectations due to his success in Ligue 1, but has only contributed with 27 goals and 17 assists.
If the Gunners were to sell Pepe at the end of the season, then a backup for Saka would certainly be needed. Despite the excellent performances the Englishman has shown for Arsenal throughout the season, there has been times when he has shown signs of burnout, so having someone who can help successfully share the attacking load would certainly be beneficial.
Raphinha would be the perfect signing for the Gunners if Leeds were to get relegated. Costing just £25m, he would easily show that he is value for money.
Since joining the Whites in 2020, he has been their main threat, which is a major reason why he received recognition from the Brazilian national team. He has also attracted interest from Europe’s elite clubs.
Leeds’ misery could lead to jubilation for Arsenal as it would allow them to sign Raphinha on a cut-price deal. However, with Barcelona also lurking, persuading the player to choose north London will not be easy.