Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani reveals Chelsea’s deal for Raphinha was ‘done’ until ‘Barcelona influences’ convinced the winger to wait for the Catalan club.
The transfer of the Brazil international was one of the long-running sagas of the summer with the player destined to leave from the beginning of the window and Camp Nou widely reported as his preferred destination early on.
However, Chelsea agreed a fee worth around £55million with Leeds to secure the signing of the 25-year-old, while Barca were deemed to be behind the Blues in the race due to their financial issues.
Despite Leeds’ valuation being matched and the deal being ‘done’ in the eyes of Radrizzani, the move didn’t materialise as Barca reached their own agreement with the Yorkshire club.
‘For me, it was done, and when I have a deal my word is my word,’ Radrizzani told The Athletic.
‘I felt ashamed to go back to Todd Boehly and change my position.
‘We made the deal with Chelsea because the player wanted to go and he was open to listening to offers from Premier League clubs.
‘Chelsea was in his favourable [option]. But unfortunately, let’s say Barcelona influences convinced the player to wait, to wait, to wait until they could find a solution.
‘This shows again the power and the leverage players and their agents have in the system, which for me is exaggerated, too much.
‘We do a lot of investment to build clubs. We invest hundreds of millions but all the power it seems to be [with] agents and representatives of these players.’
Chelsea also lost out on another transfer target to Barcelona – former Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
However, the Blues are in the advanced stages of a deal to sign Brighton defender Marc Cucurella in a deal that could reach up to £63m.
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