Arsenal remain interested in signing Raphinha this summer, despite Leeds United rejecting the club’s opening offer for the Brazilian who could be just the third Whites player to join the Gunners to date.
Raphinha could also be the first player to switch West Yorkshire for north London since 1996 with a move to the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal have seldom shopped at Leeds whilst looking to strengthen, but Mikel Arteta believes the 25-year-old has plenty to offer in search of Champions League football.
Since joining the Elland Road natives from Stade Rennes in October 2020 for £17m, Raphinha has hit 17 goals and created 12 across 67 appearances in all competitions. He provided 11 of his strikes and three assists from 35 games during the 2021/22 Premier League season, as well, as their top-scorer.
Arsenal remain interested in Raphinha despite Leeds rejecting the club’s opening offer
Reports by The Athletic note Arteta is extremely interested in making Raphinha an Arsenal star this summer. But Leeds have rejected the club’s opening offer for the nine-cap international, as the bid lodged on Tuesday fell well short of the Elland Road natives’ valuation of their sought-after winger.
Gunners technical director Edu has a strong relation with Raphinha’s agent, Deco, which may aid any further negotiations. Yet Arsenal are only his third-choice destination as the forward looks to play in Europe as soon as possible, with Raphinha favouring moves to Barcelona, above all else, or Chelsea.
Raphinha longs to join Barcelona, but their financial difficulties are restricting any approach. Beyond the Blaugrana, he appreciates Chelsea as an option for the chance to play in the Champions League and challenge for titles. Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur follow, but he is not a top target for Spurs.
The Daily Mail add that Arsenal will make Leeds a new offer, while Tottenham may also step up their interest in Raphinha with a bid. Fabrizio Romano also reports Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly is in talks with Deco, but he notes the Whites will only let the Brazilian leave if they receive at least £65m.
With the heightened number of games the Gunners will play next term after securing a return to the Europa League, Arteta could deem the Porto Alegre native to be worth the fee. So, with that in mind, who else has moved between Leeds and Arsenal for Raphinha to now follow amid Arteta’s interest?
John Lukic the last Leeds player to join Arsenal for Raphinha to follow amid Arteta’s interest
John Lukic remains the most recent Leeds player to join Arsenal that Raphinha can now follow amid Arteta’s interest. The Gunners re-signed the goalkeeper in 1996 to understudy David Seaman, after which he took his tally for appearances at Highbury to 298 in all competitions before retiring in 2001.
The Chesterfield-born shot-stopper had previously played for Arsenal between 1983 and 1990 as Pat Jennings’ replacement. He joined the club from Leeds, where Lukic began his career and returned to West Yorkshire following Seaman’s arrival in 1990, with whom he won the top-flight title in 1991/92.
Arsenal signed Wilf Copping from Leeds during Herbert Chapman’s trophy-rich era
Arsenal agreed a deal with Leeds to sign Wilf Copping in 1934 as Herbert Chapman looked to replace Bob John. He would go on to feature in all but three potential league games following his debut that season as the Gunners swept a third successive title, and he helped to lift another crown in 1937/38.
Copping would leave Highbury to re-join Leeds in 1939 and to be closer to his family as World War II loomed large. He later retired from football in 1942, while the long-time England midfielder was also honoured in the Football League’s 100 League Legends list for his domestic and international work.
Eddie Nketiah the last Arsenal player to join Leeds with 2019/20 loan transfer
Eddie Nketiah is the most recent Arsenal player to join Leeds, having moved to Elland Road on loan under Marcelo Bielsa in 2019/20. The forward struggled to oust Patrick Bamford as the first-choice, however, and returned to the Emirates in mid-season after three goals in 17 Championship outings.
Bielsa started Nketiah just twice in the second-tier, as well, before he returned to Arsenal and played 13 Premier League games, opening seven, for two goals. The 23-year-old added another two goals in 17 top-flight games during 2020/21 and five in 21 during ‘21/22 to earn the #14 shirt and a new deal.
Jermaine Pennant sealed temporary Leeds spell from Arsenal during 2003/04
Jermaine Pennant added Leeds to the list of clubs he would join on loan from Arsenal in the 2003/04 season. The Gunners product had already spent time with Watford on two occasions, and later spent time at Birmingham. He then joined the Blues permanently in 2005, before joining Liverpool in 2006.
The Nottingham-born winger offered two goals over 36 Premier League appearances whilst with the Whites in 2003/04. Pennant would only make 26 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal before his sale in the summer of 2005, while also only scoring three and creating three goals with the club.
David O’Leary left Arsenal with records galore to join Leeds in 1993
David O’Leary holds the records at Arsenal for having the most appearances (722) and for the most in the league (558). The 68-cap Republic of Ireland defender also boasts the most outings in League Cup ties, having made 70 after graduating from the club’s academy for his first-team debut in 1975.
The pacey yet powerful centre-back brought a calming presence to the Gunners’ backline and took up the captaincy in the 1980s. O’Leary eventually called time on his Highbury heroics in 1993 and joined Leeds for the final two years of his career after winning two top-flight titles and two FA Cups.
David Rocastle became first Premier League-era transfer between Arsenal and Leeds
David Rocastle began his senior career with Arsenal in 1985 after emerging from the clubs’ academy with flair. The Lewisham-born midfielder forced his way into Don Howe’s squad with his electrifying skill that exhilarated supporters and would later lead to a league title in 1989 under George Graham.
Another league crown would follow for Rocastle in 1990/91, yet Arsenal surprisingly then sold him to Leeds in 1992. Injuries then started to take their toll on the 15-time England international as he went on to play for Manchester City and Chelsea, before he devastatingly passed away in 2001, aged only 33.