Arsenal contact £88m star's agent despite being warned it could 'ruin' their season
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Arsenal are plotting a move for Barcelona star Raphinha this month with the Spanish giants demanding £88m for his signature.
The Gunners are looking for alternative options following their failure to land Mykhailo Mudryk, who was signed by London rivals Chelsea over the weekend.
With just two weeks until the January transfer window closes, Arsenal sporting director Edu has made contact with Raphinha's agent in the hope of securing a deal that could help improve their bid for the Premier League title.
But according to Spanish publication Sport, Barcelona president Joan Laporta has set an asking price of €100m (£88m) for the player.
Arsenal previously tried to sign the former Leeds United winger in the summer but the Brazilian turned down a move to the Emirates and instead chose to move to the Camp Nou.
His price-tag may put Arsenal off after they refused to pay a similar sum to land Mudryk, with three of their bids rejected.
Paul Merson: It could 'ruin' their season
Former Gunners midfielder and club legend Paul Merson has warned the club about signing Raphinha.
He believes that it could ruin the rest of Arsenal's season if they break their wage structure and end up paying him more than the rest of the players.
He said: “He (Mudryk) is probably getting more money at Chelsea. If Arsenal then go, ‘wait a minute, we’ll give you those wages,’ how do you think all the players will react? It’s a happy dressing room at the moment, and if you give another player £200k or £300k, it gets around the dressing room - players start getting unsettled.
“And you’re better off not rocking the boat. These chances (to win the league) don’t come around too often and you’ve got to seize the moment. You don’t want to ruin it.”
Mikel Arteta's side are eight points clear at the top of the table following their North London derby win yesterday and are pushing to secure their first league title in 19 years.
Signing Raphinha would make a statement, but it could also cost Arsenal in the long term.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: Arsenal, Barcelona, Paul Merson, Premier League, Raphinha, Transfers, Football