Deadline set on deal as Deco makes Barcelona promise over Chelsea interest

Leeds United continue to wait on Barcelona to meet their valuation for Raphinha – but it seems Chelsea’s prospects of snatching the transfer appear to be finally over.

The Brazilian star has dominated the gossip columns this summer. Leeds United’s star man has made a mockery of the £17m fee the Whites paid in October 2020 – and a move away looks inevitable. However, reaching a conclusion over the signing has proven difficult.

Indeed, the 11 goals and three assists Raphinha managed for Leeds this season has underlined the winger as a player of genuine quality. And his elevation into Tite’s Brazil squad has only served to underline his status as a world star.

As such, speculation surrounding the winger has lingered around the player for most of 2022. That said, the player has long made clear his desire to sign for Barcelona. With his agent Deco pulling the strings, the two men have made clear their desire to secure a Nou Camp transfer.

Finding a resolution though has been far from simple. Leeds value the player at £65m – a fair relection in the current transfer market. Barcelona, ​​however, have struggled to raise that money; the LaLiga giants beset by financial issues and struggling to adhere to FFP.

And that delay has allowed other suitors to show their hand for the star. First it was Arsenal who came calling. However, the Gunners’ lack of Champions League football soon put paid to their chances.

Next it was Chelsea who stepped in. They quickly agreed a deal with Leeds, reportedly worth north of £55m. With add-ons, the deal will reportedly reach Leeds’ £65m asking price – and one which they soon accepted.

Deco gives Barcelona his word over Chelsea chase

However, despite Todd Boehly holding talks with Deco and the offer of a lucrative deal, Raphinha refused to commit. As such, reports on Tuesday evening suggest The Blues are ready to turn to a Championship alternative.

Now, Mark provide the very latest on the deal and claim Barcelona are still working on ways to finance the signing.

Alongside Robert Lewandowski, the Blaugrana hope to tie up the two signings as soon as possible.

Turning their attention to Raphinha, they claim Deco is in constant contact with Barca. Furthermore, they claim Raphinha has assured them he is willing to wait for them and has no intention of signing for Chelsea.

In addition, they claim both Lewandowski and Raphinha have both been told to report back for pre-season training by Bayern Munich and Leeds by July 12 should the moves not be finalised. That, effectively, gives the LaLiga giants just under a week to finalise both sigings.

In that time, Barcelona hope to finalise the agreement on a further 15 per cent of their TV rights. That should help boost their income and hopefully give them the capital to finalise both signings.

Leeds United need Raphinha clarity

From a Leeds United point of view, the club needs the saga drawing to a close. There had emerged on Tuesday evening the possibility of Raphinha attending Leeds’ pre-season tour of Australia was the move not finalised.

That plane departs for the Gold Coast on Sunday 10 July. But with Raphinha reportedly told to report back for training on July 12, it seems unlikely he will be on that plane. Subsequently, talk of a last dance in a Leeds shirt also look over.

That said, Leeds United have already invested their money from his impending sale into the imminent capture of Luis Sinisterra. The Colombian winger is due to arrive from Feyenoord in what will be a club-record sale for the Eredivisie side.

Raphinha race is still on with Chelsea amongst the favorites

Leeds United still in talks with Barcelona for Raphinha deal but Chelsea lead the race amongst the Premier League clubs

And that might be the spur Leeds need to discuss a potential compromise with Barcelona.

Their offer is currently set at £42m (€50m) plus bonuses. That will reportedly take the deal to nearer the £51.3m (€60m) mark.

However, with Chelsea offering closer to £65m with bonuses, the two sides may need to meet down the middle if the impasse is to finally be resolved.

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