Paul Merson thinks Arsenal should try and sign Barcelona winger Raphinha after missing out on Mykhaylo Mudryk to Chelsea.
The Gunners want to sign a winger in the January transfer window with Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu trying their best to sign Mudryk.
It had looked for weeks like Arsenal were in the driving seat for the Ukraine international but Chelsea stole in at the last minute to take the 22-year-old to Stamford Bridge on an eight-and-a-half year deal.
And now Arsenal have had to move targets with a report yesterday claiming that the Gunners were ready to renew their interest in former Leeds United winger Raphinha.
Merson reckons Arsenal will go for Raphinha before the end of the transfer window with Barcelona looking to “settle their books”.
“They will be very disappointed, of course they will,” Merson told Sky Sports (via the Metro).
“They have been chasing him for a couple of weeks, it’s all been Arsenal talk, will they pay enough, will they go a little bit more. Then Chelsea have come from absolutely nowhere and blown Arsenal out of the water and that is what it is like.
“Now they have got to regroup again. Surely they will have had a couple of other players in the pipeline, surely they haven’t put all their eggs into one basket. I think they might go for Raphinha at Barcelona. Barcelona have still got to settle their books.”
Since losing out on Mudryk to Chelsea, reports have claimed that the Blues offered double the wages Arsenal were prepared to pay, while the Gunners were never prepared to meet Shakhtar Donetsk’s €100m asking price.
And Merson reckons Arsenal came to the right decision over Mudryk with any new high earners having the potential to “rock the boat”.
“He is probably getting more money at Chelsea. He is probably getting bigger wages,” Merson said.
“If Arsenal then go, ‘right we will give you those wages’, how do you think those players are going to react? It is a happy dressing room at the moment, if you start bringing in players and giving them, 200, 300 grand, players start getting unsettled.
“You are better off not rocking the boat. These chances do not come along too often. They are top of the league, you have got to seize the moment and you don’t want to ruin that.”
Barcelona beat Real Madrid 3-1 in the Spanish Super Cup final with Raphinha winning his first piece of silverware at the Camp Nou.
The Brazilian told reporters after the match: “This is my first trophy with this giant club, this enormous shirt of FC Barcelona — it’s incredible. And so now we go for more trophies.”
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