Raphinha to Chelsea in jeopardy after Deco spotted in Barcelona
According to journalist Gerard Moreno (h/t football.london), Barcelona are still in a position to sign Raphinha despite Chelsea having their offer accepted. It is believed that Raphinha has agreed to personal terms with Barcelona four months ago, which is to be taken into consideration as per Fabrizio Romano.
The Leeds United superstar has had a £60 million bid for him from Chelsea accepted by his West Yorkshire employers. Only personal terms separate him from a switch to Stamford Bridge, but reports in Spanish media claim that Barcelona are still very much in the race.
Deco was spotted outside Barcelona headquarters earlier today following a meeting with club chiefs, where an undercut offer to steal Raphinha from under Chelsea’s nose may have been discussed.
A meeting is scheduled for tomorrow between Deco and Chelsea – another one of his former clubs. The future of Raphinha is most likely to be determined in those showdown discussions, and Deco will surely find himself caught between two territories very familiar to him, just like he did almost two decades ago when he earned his first international cap.
The man pulling the strings
On March 29, 2003, Anderson Luis de Souza – more fondly known to the football fraternity as Deco, came on as a second-half substitute to earn his first international cap. He scored against Brazil – the country of his birth from an 82nd-minute free-kick to win the game for Portugal – his adopted homeland.
A lot has happened since, with Deco going on to have a hall of fame-worthy career and now an established and successful sports agent. Being no stranger to late winners during his playing days, Deco is now in a position to help his former club Barcelona pull off a late heist for his most high-profile client Raphinha.
We should have a clearer picture tomorrow
Not every meeting is a conspiracy. It’s no secret that Raphinha has held aspirations of donning the Blaugrana stripes.
However, in a situation where an agreement has been in place for months and circumstances beyond control prohibit the said agreement from being upheld, it is only formal and professional practice to address the situation, face-to-face.
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In this case, it looks like it could be a case of Deco just checking with Barcelona if they indeed can make one last push. Based on their decision, Raphinha will be in a better position to make a decision.
We don’t know for certain yet what was Barcelona’s final answer, but given the circumstances surrounding their financial woes, it is extremely unlikely that they can match Leeds’ valuation, especially given the fact that they will need to invest heavily in their numero uno target Robert Lewandowski.
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