Arsenal boast hidden advantage in transfer race for Leeds star Raphinha

Leeds United's Raphinha (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal from a penalty during the Premier League match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Brentford, United Kingdom.

Arsenal are ramping up their efforts to sign Leeds United star Raphinha as the Gunners look to further add to the club's Brazilian contingent.

The Gunners are on the verge of signing the Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus. Mikel Arteta was keen to reunite with the striker after the pair's shared time together at the Etihad when the Spaniard was an assistant to Pep Guardiola.

Arsenal's first acquisition of the summer came in the form of talented Brazilian teenager Marquinhos after prying the wonder-kid away from Sao Paulo. There are also, quite crucially, two members of the Selecao already plying their trade at the Emirates in Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Magalhaes.

The latter could play a vital part in luring Raphinha to North London due to their long-standing friendship, which dates back to the earliest stages of their respective careers. Speaking at the tail-end of last year, Gabriel reflected on his relationship with Arsenal's transfer target.

"We had a Whatsapp group that we were always in contact since our Avai days (they played their together)," the central defender explained. "We shared the same accommodation. We're very good friends."

That friendship could make a big difference when it comes to the Gunners beating the likes of Chelsea and fierce rivals Tottenham to the punch for Raphinha's signature.

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