Chelsea has reportedly hijacked Arsenal’s bid to sign Leeds United winger Raphinha after Leeds accepted their £55 million offer on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.
It is now a matter of hours before the 25-year-old Brazilian winger agrees on personal terms after Chelsea’s £55 million-plus add-ons bid scaled through successfully. Raphinha’s agent and former Chelsea midfielder Deco is said to be the main man behind the deal.
Amid that, reports in the United Kingdom confirmed that Arsenal held talks with Leeds on Tuesday and put forward a new proposal, after their initial offer of £30m plus add-ons was turned down last week.
However, they fell short of Chelsea’s offer, and the Brazilian winger is now likely to move to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea intends to pair Raphinha with Raheem Sterling in a new-look strikeforce as they continue their negotiations with Manchester City over a £55 million move for the England international.
Raphinha was initially a target for Chelsea in January, but they anticipated that the 25-year-old would sign with Barcelona. However, Chelsea’s new American owner Todd Boehly acted smartly to give his team a dominating position when it became clear that Raphinha could go to Arsenal.
More on Raphinha. Arsenal had a meeting with Leeds and made a new verbal bid in the last hours, turned down by LUFC. Barcelona also called Leeds again but no chance to match Chelsea bid. 🚨🔵 #Raphinha— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 28, 2022
Chelsea are now working to get the agreement done also on personal terms.
Personal terms still need to be worked out, but that will not be a problem. The search for new strikers became necessary as record signing Romelu Lukaku joined Inter Milan this summer. He has already been spotted in Italy undergoing his medicals with the Italian giants.
Meanwhile, a deal for Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt is also being discussed with Juventus, who are interested in either Christian Pulisic or Timo Werner.
Chelsea coach Thomas Tuchel prefers to pair De Ligt with fellow countryman Nathan Ake from Manchester City and they have also shown interest in Man City’s Oleksandr Zinchenko. Ake is willing to move back to London, but such a transaction would be challenging. Man City will also need to pay for a replacement player if he leaves this summer.
Chelsea is also considering Jules Kounde of Sevilla, Milan Skriniar of Inter, and Kalidou Koulibaly of Napoli for their defense in case other choices fall through.
Additionally, Chelsea have the go-ahead to buy Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. However, their primary goal is to secure Raphinha’s signature before their London rivals do.
Raphinha helped Leeds avoid relegation last season by scoring 11 goals with 3 assists. Tuchel will be thrilled to have acquired such a creative and attacking threat as he seeks to give Liverpool and Manchester City more of a challenge next season.
With the signing of Raphinha this week, the club’s interest in Ousmane Dembele of Barcelona and Richarlison of Everton, who will soon be free agents, will probably end.
Leeds will concentrate on their own goals while planning to make over £100 million from the sales of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips, who is anticipated to sign with Manchester City on Friday.