In the next few days we will see headlines such as “Raphinha has rejected Arsenal for Chelsea” and other variations.
It will be spread on Twitter by Chelsea (and oddly Tottenham) fans in an attempt to show that the Brazilian picked them over us. And that he has snubbed us.
This is not the truth.
Raphinha has not rejected Arsenal. We just did not have a bid accepted by Leeds United.
It is clear to any outside observer that Raphinha wanted a move to Barcelona. Reports emerged earlier this year that Deco – his agent – had already agreed personal terms with his former club.
The problem was Barcelona never agreed terms with Leeds United – unable to pay the £65million the Yorkshire side were demanding.
That opened the door to Arsenal who began negotiations with Leeds United and Raphinha’s representatives.
With the Barcelona deal seemingly dead, it is clear and obvious that Raphinha was interested in joining Mikel Arteta and Edu’s Portuguese/Brazilian revolution.
But like with Barcelona, Arsenal would not match the £65million Leeds wanted.
At no point did Raphinha reject either Arsenal or Barcelona. It was Leeds that rejected both.
And then we have Chelsea who swept in and offered the asking price (reportedly) and look set to complete the deal.
If that Chelsea deal goes through, it will not be Raphinha choosing Chelsea ahead of Barcelona or Arsenal. It will actually be the opposite.
The argument could easily be made that it was Arsenal and Barcelona who rejected Raphinha – they decided he was not worth the £65million Leeds wanted so turned down the deal.
Throughout, Raphinha has not turned down or rejected anyone. Just ignore the noise.
In other news, I see Tottenham fans celebrating that they have “the best striker in Brazil, best striker in Asian, best striker in Europe”. They also talk about Antonio Conte being “the best manager in the world.
I wonder what their excuse will be when they fail to win a trophy for the 15th season in a row.
Pre-season has started and it feels a bit “Rentord Rejects” at London Colney.
The majority of those pictured so far are those that went out on loan last season or got very little game time. Hopefully some of them will be shifted soon.
Enjoy your Friday.