Arsenal have suffered a major blow in the transfer window lately, as fellow Premier League sides Manchester United and Chelsea have sought to hijack their moves for certain targets.
The Gunners ended in fifth place last season – a finish many viewed as a positive. However, they were left frustrated, having missed out on a Champions League spot on the final day.
They have already been busy in the market in order to push for a top four place next year. Fabio Vieira has been signed from Benfica, while confirmation on Brazilian forward Gabriel Jesus is expected any moment now.
However, it hasn’t been all good news for the north Londoners. Their pursuits of Leeds United’s Raphinha and Ajax’s Lisandro Martinez have hit the buffers, with Chelsea and Manchester United closing in on deals for the duo.
Raphinha has been a standout for Leeds during his two years in the Premier League. He was the Yorkshire club’s top goalscorer last term, and played a huge role in them avoiding relegation on the final day.
The Brazil international is on Arsenal’s radar as they look to add depth to their frontline. Bukayo Saka is their starting right-winger, but adequate back-up will be required if they wish to be competitive on multiple fronts. Nicolas Pepe remains in their ranks, but the Ivorian is expected to depart.
But now it looks like Raphinha is set for a move to Chelsea instead. The Blues have reportedly agreed a £55 million deal for the winger.
All things considered, Stamford Bridge seems like a favourable destination for Raphinha. He would be playing in the Champions League, and would be more likely to get regular game time.
Meanwhile, the Gunners have also been eyeing up Martinez to shore things up at the back. Mikel Arteta’s men failed to keep a clean sheet in their last ten league matches; had they been more solid defensively, they may have managed to keep their place in the top four.
The Argentine is primarily a centre-back. However, he also has experience playing in central midfield or as a left-back. He would be a welcome addition at the Emirates Stadium.
Arsenal submitted an estimated £35m bid for the Ajax man earlier this week, but the club are apparently holding out for around £43m. Now, talkSPORT claims that Man Utd have entered the race, offering £40m for the 24-year-old.
The Red Devils have had plenty of defensive struggles of their own. They conceded 57 league goals last year – their highest figure in the Premier League era.
And, with Nemanja Matic already gone and Eric Bailly and Phil Jones likely to follow him out the exit door, they are in need of reinforcements.
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