Chelsea to beat Arsenal in race to sign Leeds United forward Raphinha
Chelsea are close to landing Leeds United’s Raphinha with Arsenal and Barcelona set to miss out.
Chelsea are close to agreeing a fee with Leeds United for Brazilian forward Raphinha.
The Athletic report that talks between the clubs are very advanced and at a point where Chelsea are ready to pay over £55 million for the player, who has attracted interest from several clubs, including Arsenal and Barcelona.
Barcelona out of race
Barcelona, who have been in talks with Deco, the player’s agent, are not currently in a financial position to pay for the 25-year-old. Raphinha has, however, always shown his willingness to wait for the La Liga club.
Fabrizio Romano reports that Arsenal, who want to continue adding to their squad, had a meeting with Leeds and made a new verbal bid on Tuesday, one which was turned down by Leeds.
The Gunners are about to officially complete the signing of forward Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City for a fee in the region of £45 million.
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta previously worked with the Brazilian player at Manchester City, during his spell as assistant manager to Pep Guardiola but it now appears that Arteta will have to do without the hugely-talented Raphinha in his squad for the 2022-23 campaign.
Since moving to Leeds from Ligue 1 side Rennes in October 2020, the tricky forward has impressed for the Elland Road outfit, scoring 17 Premier League goals in 65 appearances, including a penalty on the final day of the 2021-22 season that helped the Yorkshire club stay in the top flight.
His current deal at Leeds expires in the summer of 2024. Chelsea, operating with new owner Todd Boehly as interim sporting director after they confirmed the departure of Marina Granovskaia, now need to reach an agreement with the player on personal terms.