Chelsea agree to £55m fee for Raphina in blow to rivals Arsenal

Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates after scoring their side's first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Brentford and Leeds United at the Brentford Community Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Brentford, England.  - GETTY IMAGES

Leeds United’s Raphinha celebrates after scoring their side’s first goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Brentford and Leeds United at the Brentford Community Stadium on May 22, 2022 in Brentford, England. – GETTY IMAGES

Chelsea are on the brink of a £55m deal to sign Raphinha from Leeds United and deal a big blow to London rivals Arsenal

Chelsea have agreed a fee and extras with Leeds and are now required to agree personal terms with the player, which are not expected to be a problem.

With the deal expected to go through, Chelsea are aiming to add Raphina to a… £105 million new look attack with Raheem Sterlingwhoever they are talking to to draw.

Chelsea have entered talks with Sterling and City about a transfer to Stamford Bridge, but want another attacking player to join head coach Thomas Tuchel’s roster.

There has been interest in Ousmane Dembele, who must make a decision about his future at Barcelona, ​​and Everton’s Richarlison, who is Tottenham Hotspur in talks to sign?

But Raphinha has emerged as the forward looking to move to Stamford Bridge with Sterling, with Tuchel personally driving the transfer for the player and sources believe an agreement is extremely close.

Chelsea will now talk to Raphinha, who had hoped to move to Barcelona this summer, but the Spanish club’s financial problems have delayed any offer, prompting Arsenal to make an offer last week.

Arsenal’s first offer was immediately rejected and Chelsea now have a lead over Mikel Arteta’s club for the 25-year-old, whose agent is former midfielder Deco, who played for Chelsea for two years.

Deco of Chelsea gesturing during their Premiership League football match against Wigan at the JJB Stadium, Wigan, England, Sunday, August 24, 2008. - AP

Deco of Chelsea gesturing during their Premiership League football match against Wigan at the JJB Stadium, Wigan, England, Sunday, August 24, 2008. – AP

As a deal for Sterling is likely to be worth at least £50million, signing Raphinha for £55million would mean Chelsea would spend £105million to effectively replace Romelu Lukaku, whose transfer to Inter Milan is to be confirmed on Wednesday.

Raphinha scored 11 goals and provided three assists for Leeds last season as the club narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League. His signing, along with Sterling, would give Tuchel the option of choosing between the pair, Mason Mount and Kai Havertz for his front three.

Chelsea are optimistic about finding a deal to sign Nathan Ake from Manchester City, with the centre-back open to a return to Stamford Bridge.

Talks have been held between the two clubs and while no fee has been agreed, there is a sense of positivity that a deal could be struck for the 27-year-old.

Filling the spot vacated by Antonio Rudiger to the left of Chelsea’s back three is Tuchel’s biggest defensive headache as he is looking for at least two new centre-backs.

Chelsea remain interested in both Jules Kunde and Matthijs de Ligt, although a deal to sign the Dutchman from Juventus is currently incredibly expensive. Chelsea would also have joined Paris Saint-Germain in the race for Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

Tuchel has been promised up to six new players this summer, which could open the door to a full-back contract and for Chelsea to take a step to strengthen their midfield once other priorities are addressed.

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