Joan Laporta says Chelsea target Raphinha wants Barcelona move

    Raphinha is wanted by Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona
    Raphinha is wanted by Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona (MB Media/Getty)

    Barcelona president Joan Laporta says Leeds United winger Raphinha wants to join the Spanish club ahead of Chelsea.

    The Brazil international has attracted interest from several clubs, with Barca, Chelsea and Arsenal all submitting offers over the last few weeks.

    Chelsea were able to agree a £55 million deal with Leeds last week but they have yet to reach an agreement with the winger.

    Barca, meanwhile, agreed personal terms with Raphinha several months ago but they have been unable to meet Leeds’ valuation so far.

    Raphinha’s agent, Deco, has met with Barcelona’s hierarchy at least twice this week after Chelsea reached an agreement with Leeds.

    But Laporta is adamant that Raphinha’s preference is to join Barca this summer.

    ‘We’ve spoken to Leeds, I don’t think they will be offended. We have communication and we have spoken personally,’ Laporta said.

    ‘What happens is that there are other clubs that want Raphinha and are making their proposals. He wants to come.’

    Raphinha's preference is to join Barcelona this summer
    Raphinha’s preference is to join Barcelona this summer (Getty)

    Laporta also suggested that Barcelona will not withdraw their contract offer for Ousmane Dembele, whose deal expired on Thursday.

    ‘He is a person that we appreciate a lot, the coach is very satisfied with him,’ said Barca’s president.

    ‘It is an economic question, he has answered us without saying a yes or a no.

    ‘We maintain a good relationship with the player and with the agents there is communication. If he accepts the conditions that we have presented, he will continue, if not, then no.

    ‘We do not set deadlines for anything, not for signings, not for levers or anything. Now that we have activated the first lever, we’ve released quite a bit of pressure. We’re working hard, both for players and levers.’

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