Chelsea ‘love’ exciting winger also wanted by Newcastle as Barcelona eye rapid transfer profit
Chelsea and Newcastle United are in a two-horse race to bring a Barcelona star back to the Premier League, according to a report.
As has been the case in recent years, Barcelona are looking ahead to the summer transfer window knowing that they need to balance the books. It is likely they will have to sacrifice some players by sending them elsewhere.
One of the potential candidates for an exit could be Raphinha. The Brazil international only joined them last summer from Leeds United, but is already facing an uncertain future.
According to a report from Diario Sport, Raphinha is on the radar of both Newcastle and Chelsea ahead of the next transfer window. Indeed, both Premier League sides “love” him in seemingly equal measure.
In an ideal world, both player and club want to continue together. But if a tough decision has to be made for one player at least, Raphinha could be a likely casualty at Camp Nou.
He has scored eight goals in 36 appearances for his new club so far. Yet they believe he could be sacrificed without them suffering too much on the pitch, while also bringing in a decent transfer fee.
In fact, the report hints that they could turn a quick profit on him by selling him for a fee higher than what they paid Leeds less than a year ago.
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Now, it is a question of whether Chelsea or Newcastle will make a serious bid. Recent claims have suggested the latter could break their transfer record to land the 26-year-old.
Obviously, Chelsea have affirmed their status as big spenders over the past couple of transfer windows too. Part of their plan has been to invest in attacking players, who may have similar traits to Raphinha.
Raphinha in line for second spell in England
It could all come down to whether they think Barcelona’s demands for Raphinha are reasonable. But after his impactful stint with Leeds, where he became something of a fan favourite, there could be an appetite to see him in the Premier League again.
Raphinha scored 17 goals in 67 matches across all competitions for Leeds during a two-season spell. Soon, he may have to consider a second step into English football.
For now, he will be focusing on his duties with Barcelona. He remains under contract there until 2027 after the agreement he signed in the summer. But the club are constantly evolving and that could include a quick turnaround in Raphinha’s fate.
Chelsea would have been willing to sign the former Rennes man before he moved to Barcelona instead. Hence, they will be weighing up a second attempt at signing him.
Newcastle, on the other hand, have recently positioned themselves as new contenders. They have made plenty of progress this season and may be becoming a more attractive destination for highly rated players.
Meanwhile, coincidentally, Chelsea are said to have made a second Barcelona player their top priority for the upcoming transfer window.