Arsenal dealt Raphinha transfer blow as agent pictured with Barcelona president hours after first bid

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 (Pool via REUTERS)
(Pool via REUTERS)

Arsenal appear to have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Raphinha just hours after seeing their opening bid rejected by Leeds.

Mikel Arteta is ready to focus on a deal to sign the winger, having wrapped up a £34million deal for Fabio Vieira, but faces competition from Tottenham and Barcelona.

Barcelona have long led the chase for the Brazilian, reportedly agreeing personal terms for Raphinha back in February, but are struggling to afford Leeds' asking price of close to £60m due to financial constraints on the club.

This seemingly allowed Arsenal to swoop in and wrap up a deal but on Tuesday night, shortly after word leaked of the Gunners' first bid, Raphinha's agent Deco was pictured sitting with Barca president Joan Laporta and fellow Blaugrana legend Samuel Eto'o.

Barcelona remains Raphinha’s first choice of new club, with Chelsea reportedly second in line with Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football a concern for the player.

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