Chelsea’s hopes of completing a big-money deal for Leeds United winger Raphinha appear to have suffered a major blow after his agent Deco was spotted meeting with Barcelona officials.
The Blues agreed a fee of £55million for the Brazilian on Tuesday after leapfrogging Arsenal in the race for his signature, with the Catalan giants seemingly out of the running for the talented attacker.
Barca has always been Raphinha’s preferred destination, with personal terms agreed back in March. But their financial troubles gave the Premier League the advantage over a transfer.
But that has all changed following one last push from the LaLiga side to get their man.
Former Chelsea playmaker Deco was spotted on Wednesday leaving Barcelona’s offices alongside the club’s director of football Mateu Alemany and Enric Masip, advisor to Barca president Joan Laporta.
However, the big question remains at this stage whether or not Barca can pay Raphinha‘s asking price.
Chelsea still have hope over deal
Only a fee of £50m-plus will get a deal done. And that is where both Chelsea and Arsenal have no problems.
The Stamford Bridge outfit, fresh off their takeover by new co-owner Todd Boehly, are looking to make a splash quickly.
Chelsea close to Raphinha and Sterling deals
Chelsea and Leeds have agreed a fee for Raphinha and once personal terms are agreed it’s a done deal
They are looking to land Raphinha, Raheem Sterling and either Matthijs de Ligt or Jules Kounde to bolster their defence.
But if Barca can somehow raise the funds to land the Leeds star, Thomas Tuchel may have to switch targets.
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