The winger Arsenal really want ahead of Raphinha

Stuart Telford
Stuart Telford
  • 2 Apr 2023 12:24 BST
  • 3 min read
Raphinha, Arsenal, 2022/23

Arsenal have been linked with a summer move for Barcelona winger Raphinha, but the player they really want plays closer to home - and will cost less.

Arsenal lodged a bid for Raphinha last summer, as did Chelsea, but he only had eyes for Barcelona and when they offered Leeds €58 million for his services, the outcome was inevitable.

But Barca have since been told to raise €200 million by La Liga if they want to take part in a competition they are leading this season in 2023/24, and Raphinha has been made available.

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Barca are optimistic of recouping much of the fee they spent on the player, and are well covered in the wide areas with Ousmane Dembele, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati and, potentially next season, a returning Lionel Messi.

But Arsenal, who remain top of the Premier League, eight points clear of Manchester City, after beating Leeds 4-1 on Saturday, have since switched their focus.

Arteta wants Mitoma

"[Mikel] Arteta reportedly wants to upgrade his attacking options further this summer by targeting Brighton and Hove Albion star Kaoru Mitoma," write the Express.

"Arsenal are said to be eyeing their latest raid of the Amex Stadium by planning a £35m [€40m] swoop for the Japan international this summer."

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Mitoma was also on target at the weekend, scoring the first equaliser as Brighton thrice battled back from a goal down to hold Brentford to a 3-3 draw, taking his season tally to seven goals and three assists.

Currently valued at just €10m by FootballTransfers' in-house algorithm, Brighton can expect significantly more for a player they paid Kawasaki Frontale just €3m for in August 2021.

The Seagulls also have a track record of squeezing maximum transfer fees out of richer clubs for the players, and received €69m from Arsenal for England defender Ben White the same summer Mitoma arrived at the Amex.