Confirmed: Barcelona beat Chelsea to Raphinha signing

Raphinha of Leeds United warms up prior to kick off of the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)
Raphinha of Leeds United warms up prior to kick off of the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images) /

Subject to the final details, Chelsea are going to miss out on Leeds United forward Raphinha after Barcelona beat the Blues to the 25-year-old’s signature.

For Chelsea, the summer transfer window has been a difficult one thus far. Thomas Tuchel has already witnessed his team lose important senior players for no money, and any prospect of doing business early was eliminated owing to their punishments in the midst of the shocking club sale.

Fans at Stamford Bridge now have another reason to express their rage on social media despite Todd Boehly’s best efforts as temporary sporting director. One of Tuchel’s top offensive targets appears to have decided to sign with Barcelona rather than the Londoners, increasing the Catalan club’s influence on Chelsea’s own summer plans.

Barcelona confirmed on Wednesday that they have agreed a deal in principle for Raphinha’s signing with a medical the only element standing in the way of the transfer’s confirmation.

Raphinha will be Barcelona’s most costly summer acquisition

Barcelona is also about to reveal a new contract for Ousmane Dembele. Xavi will be hopeful that Barcelona’s attacking duo of Raphinha and Dembele may prove to be the answer to the team’s difficulty dismantling opponents in the upcoming season.

The Brazilian international chose a move to Spain to fulfil his ambition of playing at Camp Nou. Deco, a former Barcelona player who devised a plan to make the trade happen, is his representative.

After Barcelona matched Chelsea’s bid, Leeds had no problems about letting the winger complete a transfer outside of the Premier League.

Raphinha’s personal conditions would have most likely been settled very quickly after Chelsea and Leeds United had already reached a £55m agreement. But two weeks later, the Brazilian has decided to go to Barcelona, signing a contract until June 2027, as confirmed by Fabrizio Romano.

Where do Chelsea go now?

Missing out on Raphinha leaves a void in the Blues’ assault which they will want to fill before the start of the new campaign. After passing his medical in London, Raheem Sterling will join and is anticipated to go to Los Angeles with Chelsea on their pre-season trip.

There are a number of options that can make up for the loss of Raphinha but ultimately they are not as easily attainable. It would be criminal not to assess these options as possibilities for Thomas Tuchel.

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