Leeds United star Raphinha is could make a move within the Premier League within a few days, according to Fabrizio Romano.
The Guardian journalist said in his Caught Offside that the situation surrounding the Brazilian was “truly one of the craziest in recent years” with long-time favourites Barcelona now at risk of missing out.
The Catalan’s are way off the Whites’ valuation for the 25-year-old, reportedly willing to offer €40million compared to the £65million asking price, and English top flight sides have taken advantage, with Arsenal making the first official bid this week.
Their bid was turned down immediately for being too low, but Tottenham are readying their own offer and new Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly has personally made phone contact to investigate, with the player tired of waiting for Barca.
Romano writes: “Raphinha had given his ok to Barcelona as a priority for months, but is now really open to listening to English clubs. The decision will take a few days.
“In my opinion, it would be nice to keep seeing him in the Premier League and there is a very good chance for that to happen: for example, I know that [Mikel] Arteta is really in love with Raphinha, but Tottenham and Chelsea are absolutely in the race.”
It is suddenly all becoming real after weeks of suggestions involving the proposed move to the Camp Nou but nothing concrete.
It appears that the giants from La Liga have genuinely worn out their welcome at the front of the queue by doing nothing with the advantage.
This is good news and bad news from a Whites perspective as it increases the possibility that the club receive the hefty fee that they require for the winger’s services, but also the prospect of him lining up for their opposing side for years to come.
The first actual offer from the Emirates seems to have been little better than what Barcelona were willing to stump up, so until real money gets put on the table there won’t be any movement.
But the machinations at Stamford Bridge surrounding the takeover look to be almost complete, with Boehly now installed in place of Bruce Buck and Marina Granovskaia.
If he has taken it upon himself to personally get involved in a potential move for Raphinha as one of his first actions then it suggests he is serious about an approach.
Their ability to offer Champions League football and a clearer path to a starting spot could be key, although the newly-relevant links between Deco and Gunners official Edu, coupled with this “love” from Arteta, can’t be ignored as they are expected to return with a higher offer.
There isn’t a great deal of love lost between Whites fans and Chelsea, so to see their star man head there could turn out to be far from the most painless result.
In other Leeds United news, one Brazilian football expert has offered a plausible view that the main man actually still stays at the club.