Fabrizio Romano has told Que Golazo that not signing Raphinha was Arsenal‘s biggest regret of the summer – though a deal was impossible once Barcelona were able to afford the winger.
Raphinha looked destined to leave Leeds after playing a vital role in keeping the Whites in the Premier League last season.
By that stage, he was a Brazil international heading into what should be the peak years of his career. And Arsenal were one of the sides who made a move for the 25-year-old.
Not signing Raphinha was Arsenal’s biggest regret
Andrea Radrizzani recently told The Athletic that the Gunners were one of the sides keen to sign Raphinha. However, they ultimately missed out once Barcelona were able to fund a bid for the wide-man.
And Romano admitted that missing out on Raphinha was the one main disappointment for the Gunners during the window.
“Raphinha was the top priority. I think the biggest regret of the market for Arsenal was Raphinha because they wanted him,” he told Que Golazo. “I mentioned the Brazilian connection with Gabriel Jesus and Edu. But it’s the same with Raphinha.
“Raphinha was really open to discussing with Arsenal at some point. Then in the end when Barcelona were able to pay that money, £55 million for Raphinha, it was only Barcelona.
“It was his biggest dream since he was a kid. This is why it was impossible for Arsenal to compete. But they were there. They had conversations with Leeds. They had two official bids made to Leeds.”
It does appear that Arsenal could have done little more to sign Raphinha. Barca were not able to bring him to the Camp Nou until later in the window.
But he would have been more than aware of their interest. So the Gunners may have missed out even if they had met Leeds’ demands right at the start of the window.
Ultimately, it proved to be a real successful window for Arsenal. And their new signings have more than played their part in helping Mikel Arteta’s side set the early pace in the Premier League.
But you can understand why Arsenal may have felt that landing Raphinha may have proved to be the icing on the cake for the Gunners.