04/07/2022; 6:52 AM By : Steven D. Thompson
Chelsea have now emerged as the favourite to complete the signing of highly-rated Raphinha from Leeds. The Brazilian forward has been the subject of transfer interests from several sides, with Barcelona and Arsenal the keenest for his services.
Barcelona is said to be the player’s preferred destination, but the Spanish giants' financial situation has effectively ruled them out from such a deal. Leeds consider Raphinha as one of their most profitable assets and are holding out for between £60-65m for the player. In turn, the Catalans need to sell before they can even consider buying players and remain locked in negotiations with Manchester United over the sale of Frenkie de Jong.
After completing the signings of Fabio Vieira and Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal boss, Mikel Arteta was looking to bolster his side with the addition of another attacking name. Raphinha wasntified as anal fit on the flank, and Arsenal moved to monitor the player’s situation.
Over the past few days, it seemed likely that the Gunners were going to sign yet another Brazilian, with top bookmakers tipping short odds on a deal to happen. All of that has been blown away, as Chelsea have now risen to the top of the pecking order.
Just last week, Arsenal saw their bid of £30m plus £10m in add-ons rejected by Leeds. The Whites were holding out for significantly more than that. The Gunners were weighing up another improved offer, but their delay will leave them with much regret.
With new owner Todd Boehly looking to make a good impression in his first transfer window at the club, Chelsea matched their intentions with actions by submitting a bid worth that could total £65m with add-ons. This immediately met Leeds’ valuation, and the club swiftly accepted the deal.
However, reports do note that Raphinha has not chosen his preferred destination and will now decide on his final destination. Considering that the player’s agent in Deco, starred for Chelsea during his playing, it’s hard to see how a deal wouldn’t go through.
The Blues are now in discussions with the player’s personal camp, with Leeds already signalling the green light for a move to be completed.
It is no secret that Chelsea will need at least one or two attacking additions this summer. The return of Romelu Lukaku did not work out, and the Belgian will now complete a loan move back to his former side Inter Milan.
A player like Raphinha will immediately come in as a necessity under Thomas Tuchel, boasting the ability to play on either side of the flanks.
Hakim Ziyech is also expected to depart for AC Milan, leaving the need for a winger rather evident and explaining why the Blues were ready to go all out for the Brazilian.