Chelsea to battle Arsenal and Barcelona for the signing of Leeds star Raphinha

    Soccer Football - Premier League - Norwich City v Leeds United - Carrow Road, Norwich, Britain - October 31, 2021 Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring their first goal Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.
    Leeds’ Raphinha is wanted by Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona (Photo: Reuters)

    Chelsea will reportedly rival Arsenal for the signing of Raphinha, with the Leeds winger now considered a more realistic transfer target.

    Thomas Tuchel’s side are in need of new forwards following Romelu Lukaku’s return to Inter Milan and new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly is keen to make some marquee signings in his first summer in charge at Stamford Bridge.

    Talks have already begun with Manchester City over a £50million move for Raheem Sterling but Chelsea want to sign more than one attacking player.

    Barcelona’s Ousmane Dembele and Everton’s Richarlison have also been heavily linked but deals for those two are proving tricky, with the former still interested in staying at the Nou Camp while Tottenham are leading the race for the latter.

    As a result, The Telegraph now report that Chelsea are turning their attention to Raphinha who has been the subject of considerable interest from the Blues’ London rivals Arsenal.

    Manchester City v Newcastle United - Premier League
    Chelsea have also been linked to Man City’s Raheem Sterling (Photo: Getty)

    Last week, the Gunners saw a bid for the Brazilian, believed to be under £40m, dismissed out of hand by Leeds who value their star player at around £65m, although Mikel Arteta’s side are likely to return with an improved offer.

    But it is unclear whether Arsenal will have the funds to meet Leeds’ valuation, having already spent big on fellow Brazil forward Gabriel Jesus from City and Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira, while a move for Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez is also in the pipeline.

    Raphinha, who scored 11 and made three assists last season as Leeds narrowly avoided relegation, had hoped to leave Elland Road this summer for Barcelona, but the La Liga club’s financial issues have dashed those hopes.

    It is not known if Chelsea are looking to sell any of their current forwards to make room for any new arrivals, as while Lukaku has gone they still have many attacking options including Kai Havertz, Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi.

    As well as improving their attack, Chelsea are also keen to bolster their defensive options after losing Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen on a free.

    Former player Nathan Ake, now of City, is of interest to Tuchel and Boehly, as is Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, Juventus’ Matthijs de Ligt and Inter Milan’s Milan Skriniar.

    MORE : Kieran Tierney to stay at Arsenal despite Manchester City interest

    MORE : Thiago Silva urges Neymar to join Chelsea if Paris Saint-Germain are aiming to sell

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