ARSENAL'S first bid for Leeds playmaker Raphinha has been REJECTED, according to reports.
The 25-year-old Brazilian, who could cost up to £60million, has been identified by the Gunners as a transfer target after Barcelona's bid to secure his signature continued to stall.
But The Athletic are reporting that their first offer for the forward was considered to be "well below Leeds' valuation".
And, while Arsenal remain interested, it is thought that acquiring him could be a "long and difficult process".
This is due to competition from other clubs – with Raphinha eyeing Chelsea as his preferred Premier League destination.
Tottenham are also considering a move for him, although Richarlison remains above him on their wishlist.
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Outside of England, Bayern Munich were interested in January and could yet return for a second time.
Raphinha's current contract at Elland Road does not expire until 2024.
But the club have given up on him signing a new deal – something they hoped they could get over the line earlier on in the season.
The South American has scored 17 goals in 65 Premier League appearances for The Whites since arriving at the start of the 2020/21 campaign.
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And Arsenal could rely on director of football Edu's strong relationship with Raphinha's agent Deco in order to get a deal over the line.
If they do secure his services then Raphinha would become their fourth signing of the summer.
The Gunners have already agreed deals for Marquinhos, Matt Turner and Fabio Vieira.
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