This is not an Arsenal blog, but darned if it hasn’t seemed that way over the past two days. That’s the consequence, I suppose, of Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal both being linked to the same players. Today, the Athletic is reporting that Tottenham are focusing the bulk of their transfer attention on securing the signature of Everton’s Brazilian attacker Richarlison, and that Arsenal are now front-runners to sign his international teammate Raphinha from Leeds. Chelsea are focusing their attention on Raheem Sterling in from Manchester City.
How you feel about this particular rumor might say a lot about you and what you feel Spurs’ priorities should be in this window. Spurs have been linked with all three players in this window (Sterling less so than the other two) but it’s been clear for a while now that they wouldn’t sign both Richarlison and Rahpinha.
Arsenal have already, reports say, come to a verbal agreement for a £45m transfer of City’s Gabriel Jesus, and Leeds have been demanding £50m for Raphinha. In truth, they don’t really need to sell Raphinha at all if they don’t want to, especially after selling Kalvin Phillips to City, so it seems likely that they won’t budge too far down from their asking price. And that’s a lot of money. But the Athletic also writes that Leeds “won’t stand in the way of Raphinha’s ambition” and they’ll almost certainly reinvest that money into retooling the squad for (hopefully) Premier League survival.
Honestly, this feels... fine? Richarlison isn’t the attacker that I think most fans wanted at the start of the window, but he’s a very good player and there’s a lot to suggest he’d be a significant plus add with better players around him than what he’s had at Everton.
Earlier reports in the Athletic suggested that Everton have dropped their asking price for Richarlison from £70m to somewhere around £50m, and if Jesus went for £45m that price plus escalators feels like a likely end game price point. If at the end of the window Arsenal get Raphinha, Chelsea get Sterling, and Spurs get Richarlison, everyone comes away happy and all three clubs improve. Not sure you can ask for much more than that.