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Barcelona and Raphinha’s agent using negotiation tactic to hamper Chelsea’s interest

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Chelsea had Raphinha in their grasp before Barcelona played spoilsport.

Transfer News: Raphinha yet to meet with Chelsea as agent and Barcelona use negotiation tactic

The saga involving Raphinha seems to be dragging on longer than anyone had hoped it would. While Chelsea are said to have reached an agreement with Leeds United for the Brazilian, the player prefers a move to Barcelona.

Now according to Goal (h/t football.london), it is being said that both Barcelona and Raphinha’s representatives are elongating the negotiations waiting for Xavi to secure the money to rival the London club’s bid. This could come as a severe blow to Chelsea.

Raphinha joined Leeds United in 2020 from League 1 side Stade Rennais and has since then been an integral part of the team. His 11 goals and 3 assists in 35 League games last season made sure that Leeds avoided relegation.

Raphinha helped Leeds survive relegation last season. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
Raphinha helped Leeds survive relegation last season. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Chelsea are said to be pressing the Yorkshire-based outfit for an ultimatum to secure the player, while aware of the tactics being used by Barcelona to jeopardise this deal.

Chelsea giving in too much?

It is no secret that Thomas Tuchel has the task of rebuilding a squad this summer. The Blues are yet to make a signing while seeing players like Antonio Rudiger, Andreas Christensen and Romelu Lukaku depart.

The 25-year-old Brazilian had been identified as a potential target for the Blues this summer. Having already proved his goal-scoring talent at Elland Road, Tuchel had hoped to bring him to Stamford Bridge to do the same. Chelsea struggled to be consistent in front of goal last season.

But now that seems to have become a problem. With the player wanting a move to Barcelona, Chelsea would be smart to take the hint and end their pursuit of the winger. Even if they did manage to secure his signature now, perhaps the dream of moving to Barca will still keep on living in his head.

 Raphinha prefers a move to Barcelona over Chelsea.
Raphinha prefers a move to Barcelona over Chelsea.

Chelsea, in the meantime, have been linked with a move for Raheem Sterling and Ousmane Dembele, with the club being close to securing the signature of the former. Sterling is another proven Premier League player and would serve as a smart replacement for Raphinha should he snub a move to Chelsea.

Of course, it’s a whole different question if Tuchel planned on integrating both into their squad this summer. But then again, there are talented wingers such as Christian Pulisic and Callum Hudson-Odoi already struggling to get starts.

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What happens now remains to be seen but fans would now want the club to fast-track some of their business. Teams around are strengthening while the Blues are set to head into the pre-season tour a weaker team on paper than they were last season- at least on paper.

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