Arsenal technical director Edu Gaspar has been at the forefront of the Gunners' summer transfer activity. The Brazilian has been decisive in executing the club's transfer plans, which were laid out by himself and manager Mikel Arteta.

Leeds United winger Raphinha was among the north London club's top targets, but the club failed in their pursuit of the Brazilian. Edu confirmed Arsenal's interest while also revealing the reason why the club dropped ended their pursuit of the player.

Raphinha eventually joined Barcelona, but also came close to moving to Arsenal's London rivals Chelsea. Edu explained that during his conversation with players' agents, he tries to understand their needs, and wants transparency in the discussions before any commitments are made.

"I have a very good relationship with agents and players because it's part of my role. I say, 'Be transparent to me because I can help you: what possibilities do you have? What do you want to do? I can give you information as well but give me a bit as well'," Edu told The Athletic.

Raphinha of Leeds United Robin Jones/Getty Images

"For example, Raphinha was clear — and Deco is my close friend — he wants to go to Barcelona. That is his dream. So I said, 'Thank you very much'."

Raphinha was targeted by Arteta to provide competition to Bukayo Saka on the right wing. The England international is among the first names on the team sheet, but with European football on offer, the Spanish coach is looking for a suitable player to provide cover to avoid burnout.

Saka, meanwhile, is in discussions over a new contract, with Arsenal desperate to tie him down to new long-term deal. The 20-year-old has attracted interest from Premier League champions Manchester City, and the Gunners want to avoid any possibility of losing their prized asset.

Mikel Arteta
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta lambasted his side's performance at Newcastle AFP / Oli SCARFF

Edu confirmed that talks are going well, and Saka is also happy to remain at Arsenal. The club's technical director explained that it was just a matter of finding a solution that suits all parties going forward.

"Good, very good. Everybody is happy," Edu said about Saka's contract renewal.

"It's normal. We're going to sit and put all the expectations in the right place. Our expectations and his, his family and his agent's expectations, and put everything together. The main thing is how he feels, how he feels comfortable with us. He's happy, we're happy, so it's just: sit down and find a solution."

Along with Arsenal's new additions, Saka's renewal is expected to provide a big boost to the Gunners' supporters. Along with the England international, Arsenal are also expected to be talking to Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba over extending their current deals.

Bukayo Saka
Bukayo Saka scored his third goal in five Premier League games