Chelsea are leading the race to sign Leeds United’s Raphinha – or are they?
The Blues reportedly recently offered Jesse Marsch’s Whites in excess of £55m for the Brazilian winger, but despite being the only club making serious moves to sign the South American, the Londoners could still miss out.
? EXCL: Chelsea close to agreeing fee north of £55m with Leeds for Raphinha but not done yet. #CFC now best placed with #LUFC & 25yo as long-term favourites Barcelona can’t afford it at present + Arsenal not currently at required price @TheAthleticUK #AFC https://t.co/cPEmDq4d8N
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) June 28, 2022
Todd Boehly’s Chelsea aren’t the only ones in the running for Leeds United’s number 10 though.
Barcelona also have a strong interest and even agreed personal terms with the 25-year-old as far back as February.
Raphinha deal. Barcelona have full agreement with his agent Deco since February on a five year deal but Leeds want €55m, no plan to change their price tag. ?? #FCB
Barça need to be fast as Premier League clubs are back in the race, including Arsenal – but no bid submitted yet.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 19, 2022
However, with the La Liga giant’s financial problems laid bare for all to see, there is no guarantee the Spaniards will be able to finalise a deal for Raphinha, even though the player is believed to prefer a switch to the Nou Camp over Stamford Bridge.
The latest in the ongoing saga comes from CBS Sport’s Ben Jacobs, who is reporting that although Barcelona president Joan Laporta is standing firm that the 26-time La Liga winners are under no pressure to conclude a deal, Leeds United remain adamant they want a concrete offer on the table by this Thursday, at the latest.
Barcelona no closer to a full agreement with Leeds for Raphinha. Joan Laporta says “no deadline” to complete the deal but Leeds have asked Barca to present latest offer by Thursday. Leeds have already brought in Luis Sinisterra to replace Raphinha and want his future resolved.
— Ben Jacobs (@JacobsBen) July 6, 2022
Raphinha’s long-term future is still desperately uncertain and consequently, fans are none the wiser about where the Brazilian will play his football next season.
With Barcelona also trying to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich, the Spanish club’s pursuit of Raphinha could hinge on which player Xavi prioritises as it is becoming increasingly clear that they’re probably not going to be able to land both.