Chelsea struck a new blow to sign Raphinha ahead of Barcelona | Soccer

Raphinha is wanted by Arsenal, Chelsea and Barcelona

Raphinha 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 bids in recent weeks.

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

Barca, meanwhile, agreed personal terms with Raphinha a few months ago but they haven’t been able 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 insists Raphinha prefers to join Barca this summer.

“We spoke to Leeds, I don’t think they will be offended. We have communication and we’ve spoken in person,” Laporta said.

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

Raphinha prefers to join Barcelona this summer

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

Laporta also suggested that Barcelona won’t withdraw their offer for Ousmane Dembele, whose contract expired on Thursday.

“He’s a person we value a lot, the coach is very happy with him,” said Barca’s president.

“It’s an economic question, he answered us without saying yes or no.

“We maintain a good relationship with the player and there is communication with the agents. If he accepts the terms we put forward then he will go ahead, if not then no.

“We don’t set deadlines for anything, not for signatures, not for leverage or anything. Now that we’ve activated the first lever, we’ve released quite a bit of pressure. We work hard, both for the players and for the levers.”

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Chelsea FC Chelsea struck a new blow to sign Raphinha ahead of Barcelona | Soccer

Nate Jones

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