Chelsea gave Raphinha an unlikely boost with Barcelona over Ousmane Dembele decision | Soccer | sport
Chelsea’s hopes of signing Leeds United winger Raphinha appear to have received a major boost due to Ousmane Dembele’s current situation at Barcelona, according to reports. The Blues have been credited with strong interest in bringing Raphinha to Stamford Bridge this summer, but were already put off when it emerged his preference would be to join Barcelona instead of sealing a move to west London.
The Catalan giants have reportedly been locked in talks with Leeds over Raphinha’s services for some time, leaving Chelsea on the verge of missing out on his signature. However, Barcelona bosses could decide to end their interest in Raphinha if Dembele stays at the club this summer, according to The mirror.
Dembele, who has also been linked with Chelsea in recent weeks, is said to be set to extend his stay at the Nou Camp after months of protracted negotiations. Barcelona are unlikely to pursue Raphinha’s pursuit if they manage to secure Dembele’s immediate future, which could give Chelsea a free run against the former over the next few weeks.
However, there’s still every chance that Dembele could leave Barcelona on a free transfer in the not-too-distant future, with his new contract offer at the club still far from certain. The situation would be delayed by the differing views of Barcelona manager Xavi and sporting director Matheu Alemany, who is adamant about defending a big shot for Raphinha despite Xavi’s insistence on keeping Dembele.
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Barcelona are reportedly struggling to commit financially to both players this summer, meaning it’s likely to be one or the other when it comes to Raphinha and Dembele ahead of next season. It remains to be seen whether Chelsea will be able to capitalize on the situation to snap up Raphinha, who remains tied to Leeds until 2024 but is widely expected to leave Elland Road before the start of the new Premier League campaign.
The player’s agent, Deco, is said to have close ties with the Barcelona bosses since his playing days in Spain and is expected to play a major role in securing his client’s future ahead of the start of next season. He has already hinted at Raphinha’s desire to move on to bigger and better things than Leeds when asked about his potential next destination in October.
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“There are certainly many clubs interested in him,” Deco told the Brazilian outlet. Globe. “Liverpool like him and there have been approaches [last summer] but nothing official, Leeds wanted to keep him for another season.
“Raphinha is happy at Leeds, but there will definitely come a time when he wants to take a step forward in his career and move on. He has three years left on his contract but there is no indication of how long he should stay. for or which prevents the transfers.
“Leeds are aware of this and will want to sell him for a big sum, while Raphinha will eventually progress in her career.”
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