Chelsea have been handed a major blow in their efforts to sign Raphinha, with Barcelona reportedly looking to stifle the Blues’ transfer swoop. The 25-year-old winger has been heavily linked with an exit from Elland Road this summer, and while Thomas Tuchel’s side are said to have reached an agreement with Leeds United, Barcelona remain in contention.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea have reached an agreement with Jesse Marsch’s side on a £60-65million fee for the Brazil international. The west Londoners are reportedly now best placed to acquire Raphinha’s signature, with Todd Boehly eager to wrap up a deal in a swift fashion to ‘avoid problems’.
But, with the Spanish giants unwilling to surrender the transfer pursuit, Goal claim that representatives of both Raphinha and Barcelona are elongating negotiations until Xavi is armed with the finances to rival Chelsea’s bid. Frenkie de Jong is among several stars at the Camp Nou who face an increasingly uncertain future and could end up funding a deal for the Leeds talisman.
In the meantime, Chelsea are said to be pressing the Yorkshire side for an ultimatum, aware of Barcelona’s dark summer transfer window arts. Raphinha has been reluctant to discuss his future at Elland Road, claiming it is all up to his agent Deco and the Yorkshire-based club. While on international duty with Brazil, he said: “I have a contract with Leeds until 2024. My future is in the hands of Deco and Leeds.
“I have my mind set on the national team, on the game and also on my vacations. I have a contract with Leeds, and this issue is resolved by my agent. When there is something, he will tell me.”
Raphinha, who has emerged as one of Europe’s most coveted wingers lately, featured 35 times for Leeds in the Premier League last season, directly contributing to 14 goals. His impressive displays steered Leeds clear of relegation from the top-flight, securing the club at least an additional £35million windfall this summer.
According to Romano, had Marsch’s side been relegated, then a £25million release clause in the Brazilian’s contract would have been activated. But, with Leeds evading the drop, they’re now said to be demanding a fee closer to £60-65million fee, of which Chelsea are believed to have met.