Raphinha: Prospect of Leeds stay increases as Chelsea give up on transfer and turn to Championship winger instead

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Raphinha, Leeds Utd winger, during 1-1 Premier League draw v Burnley at Turf Moor Credit: PA Images
Raphinha, Leeds Utd winger, during 1-1 Premier League draw v Burnley at Turf Moor Credit: PA Images

Chelsea’s hopes of luring Raphinha to Stamford Bridge appear to be over with the winger still refusing to agree a move and the Blues now readying an approach for an alternative.

The Brazilian star has long looked destined to leave Leeds United this summer. As their star man, his 11 goals and three assists almost single-handedly kept Leeds afloat in the Premier League. However, the 25-year-old wants to test himself at a higher level next season.

As a result, the nine-times capped star has made clear his wish to sign for Barcelona. Talks between the player’s agent Deco and Barcelona have long since seen personal terms agreed over a move to Camp Nou.

However, negotiating terms with Leeds has proved far more problematic. Indeed, the Whites are demanding a minimum £55m for their star man – a fair price in the modern market. Cash-strapped Barcelona though have so far seen efforts to strike a deal with Leeds come to nothing. Determined to stand by their valuation, the two clubs remain unable to agree a deal.

That failure has allowed other clubs to enter the race with first Arsenal, and more recently Chelsea making their moves. The Gunners’ interest was quickly dismissed though by the player, with their lack of Champions League football ending their chances.

That allowed Chelsea to rapidly steam in and agree a package with Leeds. That was reportedly worth an instant £55m, with a further £10m made up in bonuses.

And while Leeds were happy to accept the deal, Raphinha himself has responded tepidly to their approach. Indeed, a matter of hours after they reached agreement, Deco was back in Barcelona to try and resurrect their transfer prospects.

Indeed, that led to claims that the move to Catalonia was back on the agenda. However, the saga shows no signs of ending any time soon with Barcelona still unable to match Chelsea’s terms.

And with Chelsea owner Todd Boehly presenting a lucrative package to the player, the Blues are yet to receive a firm response from the player.

Chelsea to turn attention to Burnley man

Indeed, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano insists the Blues are still waiting to hear from Raphinha.

“For Raphinha, Chelsea are waiting for the player to make a final decision,” he said. “We know that, as [Joan] Laporta says, Raphinha wants to go to Barca.

“But it’s also important to mention that at the moment, Barcelona still have no full agreement with Leeds.”

Now it seems Chelsea’s patience with Raphinha is starting to wear out. And, according to The Athletic, they are ready to turn their attention towards Burnley’s Maxwell Cornet.

The Championship club look likely to lose their star man this summer with a lowly £17.5m exit clause in his deal. During his season with the Clarets, Cornet scored nine goals and weighed in with two assists. However, his efforts ultimately counted for nothing as Burnley suffered relegation from the Premier League.

Now, The Athletic claims a move for Cornet look increasingly appealing for Boehly and Thomas Tuchel.

Capable of playing as an out-and-out winger or as a wing-back, Cornet’s versatility could prove useful to the Blues.

Raphinha may yet stay at Leeds

And unless Barcelona increase their offer, there remains a growing possibility that Raphinha stays at Leeds after all this summer.

Leeds appear in no mood to relent to Barcelona’s pleas to sanction the deal for a reduced cost. And despite Leeds closing on his replacement in Luis Sinisterra, the Whites seem fully prepared to stand their ground.

Indeed, Leeds welcomed their internationals back to pre-season training at Leeds Beckett University Campus on Monday. It is there that Leeds do all their medical checks and assessments on their stars following their summer breaks.

Raphinha, however, was conspicuous by his absence; the player believed to be in Ibiza and given permission not to report back to Leeds.

That said, the Whites are due to embark on a pre-season tour to Australia later this month. And their squad is due to fly out to the Gold Coast on 10 July.

And should the player still be registered a Leeds United player by then, he may be required to board the plane Down Under.

Were that to happen, it increases the chances of Raphinha still being a Leeds player come the close of the window.

Barcelona may yet come again in January – when a good World Cup for Raphinha will surely only underline their desire. But at it stands, they are no nearer an agreement. And with Chelsea now ready to close the door, Raphinha staying at Leeds may not be as unlikely as it sounds.

The article Raphinha: Prospect of Leeds stay increases as Chelsea give up on transfer and turn to Championship winger instead appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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