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Chelsea handed unlikely Raphinha boost with Barcelona facing Ousmane Dembele decision | Football | Sport

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Chelsea’s hopes of signing Leeds United winger Raphinha appear to have been handed a serious boost consequently of Ousmane Dembele’s current situation at Barcelona, in keeping with reports. The Blues have been credited with a powerful interest in bringing Raphinha to Stamford Bridge this summer but were previously knocked back when it emerged that his preference could be to affix Barcelona as an alternative of sealing a move to west London.

The Catalan giants are said to have been locked in talks with Leeds regarding the services of Raphinha for a while, leaving Chelsea on the point of missing out on his signature. Nevertheless, those in power at Barcelona could determine to drag the plug on their interest in Raphinha if Dembele stays on the club this summer, in keeping with The Mirror.

It is claimed that Dembele, who has also been linked with Chelsea in recent weeks, is near extending his stay on the Nou Camp after months of protracted negotiations. Barcelona are unlikely to maintain up the chase for Raphinha in the event that they manage to secure Dembele’s immediate future, though, potentially giving Chelsea a free run at the previous over the approaching weeks.

Nevertheless, there continues to be every probability that Dembele could leave Barcelona on a free transfer within the not-too-distant future, along with his proposed recent deal on the club still removed from certain. The situation is reportedly being held up by the differing views of Barcelona manager Xavi and sporting director Matheu Alemany, who’s adamant on championing a big-money move for Raphinha despite Xavi’s insistence on keeping Dembele.

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Barcelona would struggle to financially commit to each players this summer, meaning that it’s more likely to be either-or with regards to Raphinha and Dembele upfront of next season. It stays to be seen whether Chelsea will have the ability to capitalise on the situation with a view to snap up Raphinha, who stays tied right down to Leeds until 2024 but is widely expected to go away Elland Road before the brand new Premier League campaign gets underway.

The player’s agent, Deco, is claimed to have strong links to those in power at Barcelona from his playing days in Spain and is predicted to play a serious role in securing his client’s future before the beginning of next season. He has already hinted at Raphinha’s desire to maneuver on to larger and higher things than Leeds when quizzed on his potential next destination back in October.

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“There are definitely many clubs inquisitive about him,” Deco told Brazilian outlet Globo. “Liverpool do like him and there have been some approaches [last summer] but nothing official, Leeds desired to keep him for one more season.

“Raphinha is pleased at Leeds, but there will definitely come a time when he desires to take a step up in his profession and move forward. He has three years left on his contract but there’s nothing in it that states how long he must stay for or that stops transfers.

“Leeds are aware of that and can need to sell him for a giant sum, while Raphinha will find yourself progressing in his profession.”

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