Chelsea risk losing transfer battle to arch-rivals for Leeds United star Raphinha
Chelsea find themselves trying to enter a red ocean for the services of Brazilian superstar Raphinha. His club Leeds United are due a massive payout should their coveted asset leave, and it seems like it’s a matter of who and when and for how much, not if.
The red ocean in question comprises London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham, and financially-stricken giants Barcelona. It makes one ponder, shouldn’t Chelsea be having the edge if these are the only clubs involved?
Arsenal don’t have Champions League football to offer while Tottenham do, but both those teams still have a lot of gaps to bridge to Chelsea. Barcelona’s troubles transpire far, far beyond the pitch but that doesn’t seem to matter, because it’s Barcelona and Arsenal who seem to hold an advantage.
According to journalist Fabrizio Romano, Arsenal are in direct negotiations with Leeds and have been interested in Raphinha since March. Barcelona, on the other hand, are believed to have agreed on personal terms with the Brazilian, but there has been no agreement on a fee.
And the Times (Subscription Required) claims that the Gunners are readying a bid in the region of £50m for the Leeds United superstar. It is clear that Mikel Arteta’s side is kicking into 5th gear when it comes to the Brazilian international.
Chelsea and Tottenham have been in contact too with Leeds, but nothing seems to have progressed beyond that point. It would have been a bit easier to sign Raphinha had the Whites been relegated.
The West Yorkshire club however stayed up in dramatic fashion and now any club interested in taking Raphinha away from Elland Road will likely need to pay a good sum- given his current team’s Premier League status.
Should the Blues make Raphinha a priority?
Chelsea seem to have a lot on their plate now, so it is understandable why Raphinha hasn’t appeared to be a ‘priority’ so far. The West Londoners are currently in advanced talks with Inter Milan to finalise flop-signing Romelu Lukaku’s exit. Once that is done, we can expect a movement on other fronts.
The Blues are also undergoing seismic changes to their internal structure and hierarchy. Chairman Bruce Buck has stepped down and Club Director Marina Granovskaia is expected to follow suit.
Signing Jules Kounde and Raheem Sterling also seem to be at the top of Chelsea’s transfer agenda. For now, it really does appear that while Chelsea are interested in Raphinha, they are seemingly not desperate for him.
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We can’t really sign every target we are after. Sterling and Kounde, if they arrive, would be massive additions. It would then be hard to see where Raphinha would fit in our starting XI.
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