Leeds United join Arsenal and Chelsea in race to sign 23-year-old forward: Reports

Leeds want to replace Raphinha with Arsenal and Chelsea-linked forward
Leeds want to replace Raphinha with Arsenal and Chelsea-linked forward
Akshay Tahiliani

Leeds United seem to have found a replacement for exit-bound winger Raphinha, who has been linked with Arsenal and Chelsea, as per the Guardian. The Elland Road side are looking towards the Eredivisie to fill the Brazilian star's eventual vacancy.

They have singled out PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo as Raphinha's replacement.

Raphinha has been linked with various clubs, including Barcelona, Chelsea, and Arsenal. While the Catalans have been largely inactive in their pursuit of the 25-year-old recently, the Gunners have tried to make headway, aware that the Blues are also monitoring the player.

90min reported that Mikel Arteta's side also launched an official bid for Raphinha but it was rejected by the Elland Road outfit almost immediately. FootMercato reports that while the soap opera around the Brazilian winger continues, Leeds have already started planning for life after him.

Leeds want to replace Raphinha with PSV’s Cody Gakpo if the Brazilian leaves this summer.Gakpo has also been linked with Arsenal, although there has been no rumours about a deal for a few weeks.[Source: @sebnonda].

Jesse Marsch is willing to sign Gakpo if Raphinha departs. The Dutch winger is not a new name to Arsenal and Chelsea, with SportsMole suggesting earlier this month that PSV offered them the winger.

Footmercato believes that the Gunners may come back chasing the 23-year-old's signature if they fail to sign the Leeds winger.

Gakpo was in sensational form in the 2021-22 campaign. Despite missing a few games due to injury, the forward bagged 21 goals and 15 assists in 46 appearances across competitions.

His individual efforts and captaincy helped PSV push for a title charge but in the end, they lost the Dutch league to Ajax by just two points.

Leeds winger will prioritize a move to Chelsea over Arsenal

Although the Gunners faithful have become very excited by their club's ambition as they continue to chase Raphinha, their is a twist in the tale they might be unaware of. The Athletic have disclosed the Brazilian's pecking order in terms of his possible future destinations.

Leeds United have been pretty clear with all clubs interested in Raphinha: he can leave but they want at least £65m fee. 🇧🇷 #LUFCArsenal after first bid rejected, Spurs after new direct talks, Chelsea after contact through Boehly… and Barça via Deco, got the same message.

His top priority is Barcelona, although he is ready to overlook them if they take too long to strike a deal. This is where problems arise for Arsenal. Even though the 25-year-old is aware that the Gunners are the first side to make an official bid for him, Raphinha is believed to prefer a move to Chelsea over the Emirates.

The winger is valued at £50m by the Elland Road outfit and it will be interesting to see who eventually snaps him up.

Edited by Akshay Saraswat


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