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Raphinha tells agent to block Chelsea transfer?

Raphinha tells agent to block Chelsea transfer?
© Reuters
Leeds United attacker Raphinha reportedly tells his agent Deco to block a potential £60m transfer to Chelsea due to his desire to play for Barcelona.

Leeds United attacker Raphinha has allegedly instructed his agent to stop a potential transfer to Chelsea as he continues to push for a move to Barcelona.

The Brazil international is seemingly at the centre of a three-way transfer tussle between Barcelona, Arsenal and Chelsea, the latter of whom were expected to wrap up his signing in the coming days.

Chelsea were believed to have agreed a deal worth approximately £60m for the signing of Raphinha, with Leeds refusing to budge on their valuation of the 25-year-old.

However, Raphinha is yet to put pen to paper on a contract with Chelsea, and as a result, Barcelona and Arsenal are not giving up their pursuits of the former Rennes man.

In the latest twist to the transfer saga, Sport claims that Raphinha has told his representative Deco to stop a transfer to Chelsea going through while Barcelona remain in the race.

Leeds United's Raphinha pictured on November 30, 2021© Reuters

Camp Nou is understood to be Raphinha's preferred destination for a summer transfer, and he allegedly already has an agreement in principle with Xavi's side on personal terms.

Barca's long-running financial problems means that they have struggled to match Leeds' £60m valuation, but space has now opened up in the Blaugrana attacking ranks.

Ousmane Dembele's contract officially expired at the end of June, with the Frenchman now a free agent, while Adama Traore has left following his loan spell from Wolverhampton Wanderers.

A new contract for Dembele is not thought to be out of the question, but the club are also said to be open to offers for Memphis Depay, which would help them trim their wage bill further.

As a result, Raphinha supposedly has no interest in discussing personal terms with Chelsea, as the South American has 'dreamed' of playing for Barcelona since childhood.

Barcelona coach Xavi during the match on April 18, 2022© Reuters

Raphinha's stance is not thought to have gone down well with the Stamford Bridge hierarchy, but the decision on his next club will ultimately fall to the attacker rather than Leeds.

The former Sporting Lisbon man's contributions last term were vital in helping the Whites remain in the Premier League, as he struck 11 goals and set up three more in 35 top-flight outings.

Raphinha now has 17 goals and 12 assists to boast from 67 appearances in a Leeds United shirt, and his contract at Elland Road still has another two years left to run.

Chelsea could therefore be forced to look elsewhere in their search for attacking reinforcements, but progress is reportedly being made in their efforts to sign Raheem Sterling from Manchester City.

The Blues' new owner Todd Boehly is also said to be keen on a blockbuster move for Neymar and may have been handed a boost in his pursuit of the 30-year-old, who is allegedly now open to the idea of leaving Paris Saint-Germain.

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Neymar in action for Paris Saint-Germain in March 2022
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