Chelsea are being offered a strong chance to bring Raphinha to the club this summer after a surprise turn of events over his future at Barcelona.
The Brazilian winger moved to the Nou Camp last summer, fulfiling a childhood dream by playing for the Blaugrana. And while he endured a slow start in his new surroundings, Raphinha has now become a firm fixture in Xavi’s side.
Indeed, the 26-year-old has 10 goals and nine assists from 45 appearances for the club; a goal involvement every 2.4 games. And the 16-times capped international is set to become a title winner in his first season at the club, proving the club were right to fork out a £58m fee for his services.
However, Raphinha’s future at Barcelona continues to be shrouded in doubt. Barca remain in a tricky situation financially and need to raise €200m before June 30 to avoid FFP sanctions.
And with Xavi looking to strengthen his squad, Raphinha is among the names who could be put up for sale.
Indeed, Wednesday’s Euro Paper Talk claim Barcelona will make Ilkay Gundogan, Lionel Messi and Inigo Martinez their three top targets. And while the trio are all available as free agents, the club still need to balance the books.
Furthermore, Ousmane Dembele looks increasingly likely to sign a new deal to cement his future to the club. And with Messi’s return to the Nou Camp also gathering pace, Raphinha reportedly fears he is being phased out already.
Now Wednesday’s edition of Sport has some exciting developments over a possible move to Chelsea.
Deco steering Raphinha towards Chelsea transfer
Indeed, the Spanish paper claims his agent Deco is intent on convincing Raphinha to accept a move this summer. Noting potential future fears about his playing time he is looking to convince his client to accept a move away back to the Premier League.
Indeed, he has interest in him from Arsenal and Newcastle. However, Deco – as a former Chelsea player – is pushing the forward to moving instead to Stamford Bridge.
And the paper claims he met with Raphinha on Tuesday with the specific aim of convincing him to move.
They claim Barcelona are willing to sell the player this summer to ease their financial burden. And they are reportedly seeing a deal worth €80m (£69.4m), which would offer them a decent profit on their initial €66m (£58m) investment.
Deco, meanwhile, is reportedly close to accepting the job as Barcelona’s new sporting director. And that could potentially present a conflict of interest for both Raphinha and Barcelona going forwards.
But it’s reported Deco is looking to talk his client into the move amid claims Chelsea are keen on a deal.
The Blues agreed a fee with Leeds to sign Raphinha last summer, only for the player to reject a move. But there is a growing belief that it could be a case of second time lucky for the Blues.
And while incoming new boss Mauricio Pochettino will need to offload the likes of Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic to accommodate the star, it’s reported the deal is there if he wants it and assuming Deco can convince the player to leave.