Chelsea’s new owner Todd Boehly is personally overseeing the club’s transfer activity and called Leeds to discuss Raphinha, who is also wanted by Arsenal, Spurs, and Barcelona
Chelsea owner Todd Boehly personally called Leeds United to discuss the possibility of signing winger Raphinha, according to reports.
Raphinha is at the center of a transfer tussle, with Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham, and Barcelona all chasing his signature in the summer window. The Brazil international has contributed 17 goals and 11 assists in 66 matches for Leeds to attract widespread interest.
Arsenal has already had an official bid rejected by the Yorkshire club, who are reportedly holding out for £65million for the 25-year-old. Raphinha has two years left on his Leeds contract, but appears set to leave the club he joined in a £17million deal from Rennes in October 2020.
While a transfer appears increasingly likely, his destination is far from set in stone. Arsenal is the only club known to have made an official bid, while Barcelona agreed on personal terms with Raphinha back in February, partly because his agent is the Catalan side’s former midfielder, Deco.
Raphinha is understood to favor a move to Barca, but their financial troubles and restrictions placed on them by La Liga are complicating any transfer. It is in this context that Chelsea has emerged as a plausible destination for Raphinha.
Boehly’s consortium completed their takeover of the Blues from Roman Abramovich on May 30 and has wasted no time in getting to work. Changes behind the scenes have already been made, with chairman Bruce Buck and director Marina Granovskaia – both Abramovich allies – have been moved on, leaving Boehly to personally work on transfers.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the American billionaire is so hands-on at Stamford Bridge that he personally put in a call to Leeds to discuss Raphinha. He reportedly got the same response as Arsenal, Spurs, and Barca: Raphinha is for sale, but only for ‘at least’ £65m.
Chelsea is yet to make any signings this summer but has big plans under the new ownership. The Blues are currently busy arranging Romelu Lukaku’s loan move back to their former club Inter Milan. The Times says Inter has now agreed to pay Chelsea £6.9m plus £3.4m in add-ons to take Lukaku on loan for the 2022/23 season, while the Belgian will take a 30 percent wage reduction.