Barcelona 'seal Raphinha deal' despite financial turmoil as star snubs Chelsea

RAPHINHA has sealed his dream move...


Posted Wednesday, July 13, 2022 by Express.co.uk

Barcelona are set to complete the signing of Raphinha after sealing a £57million (€67m) deal with Leeds United. Raphinha opted to wait for a dream move to Camp Nou, snubbing Chelsea interest after the Blues shook hands on a fee with the Elland Road club earlier this summer.

After Chelsea hijacked initial Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur interest in the 25-year-old winger, Barcelona swooped in to secure his services. And according to Fabrizio Romano, a full agreement with Leeds has now been reached to seal Xavi Hernandez's latest signing.

Barcelona will pay a fixed £49m (€58m) fee plus £8m (€9m) in add-ons, the biggest fee Leeds have ever received for a player, eclipsing the £42m Manchester City paid for Kalvin Phillips in the same transfer window. Raphinha will sign a contract with the Catalan giants until June 2027 after eyeing a switch since February.

While the pull of a club of Barcelona's magnitude is undeniable, many will raise questions over their ability to splash such a sizeable wad of cash on one player amid their financial woes. The Blaugrana currently owe Frenkie de Jong £17m in deferred salary payments, a significant issue holding up his summer move to Manchester United.

Barcelona 'seal Raphinha deal' despite financial turmoil as star snubs Chelsea
Barcelona are set to complete the signing of Raphinha.

Their increasing debt hasn't prevented them from bolstering Xavi's squad, though, which is bound to frustrate De Jong's camp further. Raphinha will be Barcelona's third major summer signing after Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie joined on free transfers.

United have agreed a £72m deal, including add-ons, with Barcelona for De Jong, and Erik ten Hag will be increasingly confident of sealing a reunion with the Netherlands midfielder. De Jong is also open to a switch, but the money he's owed is proving to be a so-far insurmountable obstacle.

United chief executive officer Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough travelled to Barcelona for the second time in as many weeks on Monday to negotiate the issue. And perhaps the La Liga club pulling the trigger on a deal for Raphinha is an indicator of their confidence that a hefty chunk of funds will soon be available through a major player sale.

For Chelsea, Raphinha's snub will have frustrated Thomas Tuchel and new owner Todd Boehly. But it's not all doom and gloom. The Blues are set to complete the £50m signing of Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling and have identified Bayern Munich's Serge Gnabry as an alternative for Tuchel's second attacking signing of the window.



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