Chelsea have moved quickly to attempt to secure a deal for Raphinha by agreeing a £55m package with Leeds on Tuesday. Arsenal have also held extensive talks to sign the 25-year-old, with Mikel Arteta keen for him to link up with Gabriel Jesus, who is on the verge of joining from Manchester City. Barcelona, meanwhile, also have a long-standing interest in Raphinha but have been unable to meet Leeds’ valuation due to their financial situation and their need to sell players before agreeing to such a significant outlay.
It’s understood that Raphinha agreed personal terms with Barcelona in March and moving to La Liga was the Brazil international’s preference, but Barca are still yet to agree a fee with Leeds. Deco may have been making one last push with Barcelona’s hierarchy on Wednesday as he was spotted leaving their offices alongside the club’s director of football Mateu Alemany and Enric Masip, advisor to Barca president Joan Laporta. It’s understood that Arsenal were locked in talks to sign Raphinha but Leeds had rejected two offers from the Gunners before Chelsea made their move.
Chelsea’s new co-owner Todd Boehly is keen to bolster Thomas Tuchel’s squad and is keen to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City as well as Raphinha. Chelsea are also looking to sign Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus and reports have claimed that they are willing to include either Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic as part of the deal. Chelsea have also reopened talks with Sevilla to sign their French defender Jules Kounde.