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Chelsea 'to hold Raphinha talks on Thursday'

Chelsea 'to hold Raphinha talks on Thursday'
© Reuters
Chelsea will reportedly hold discussions with the agent of Leeds United winger Raphinha on Thursday as they bid to wrap up a deal for the Brazil international.

Chelsea reportedly hope to convince Leeds United winger Raphinha into a transfer to Stamford Bridge on Thursday.

Having impressed during his two seasons at Elland Road, the playmaker is now expected to sign for a club who possess European football for 2022-23.

For a number of months, it has been claimed that Barcelona are the Brazil international's preferred destination, the Catalan giants also known to hold an interest in the 25-year-old.

However, Barcelona are currently not in a position where they can afford Raphinha, leaving the door open to the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal.

At one stage, the latter appeared to be well placed to win the race, but reports emerged on Tuesday evening that Chelsea owner Todd Boehly was prepared to meet Leeds' asking price.

Chelsea new owner Todd Boehly is seen in the stands before the match on May 7, 2022© Reuters

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Boehly will hold discussions with the representative of Raphinha on Thursday in a bid to find a positive resolution.

A photo emerged on social media on Wednesday showing Deco - Raphinha's agent - leaving the offices at Barcelona, the suggestion being that the former player of both sides was enquiring about the level of interest from the Spanish giants.

As it stands, it is unclear whether Barcelona will find a way to facilitate a transfer or if the player is prepared to remain patient when it comes to making a decision regarding his future.

Nevertheless, Romano says that there are "key hours" ahead for all of the relevant parties, particular Chelsea as they look to accelerate their transfer business.

Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel during the 3-0 win against Leeds United on May 11, 2022.© Reuters

Head coach Thomas Tuchel has allegedly informed Boehly that he is a big admirer of Raphinha and views him as an ideal addition in the final third.

Chelsea are said to be ready to pay in the region of £55m for a player who has contributed 17 goals and 11 assists in 64 Premier League appearances.

The West Londoners are also attempting to add Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling to their attacking ranks, Tuchel said to have assured the England international that he would play a key role in his team.

From a defensive standpoint, Nathan Ake could follow Sterling in swapping the Etihad Stadium for Stamford Bridge over the coming weeks as Tuchel looks to sign two new central defenders.

Sevilla's Jules Kounde and Juventus' Matthijs de Ligt are the other names said to be on Chelsea's radar.

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