August 17, 2022

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Chelsea are on the verge of completing a £55 million (€63 million) deal to sign Raphinha from Leeds United, dealing a significant blow to London rivals Arsenal.

The Blues have agreed on a fee with Leeds, plus add-ons, and must now agree on personal terms with the player, which should not be a problem. Chelsea are hoping to add Raphinha to a £105 million (€121 million) new-look attack led by Raheem Sterling.

Chelsea have begun talks with Sterling and Manchester City about a move to Stamford Bridge, but they are looking for another attacking player to help head coach Thomas Tuchel’s squad.

There was interest in Ousmane Dembele, who is set to make a decision on his future with Barcelona, and Everton’s Richarlison who Tottenham Hotspur are in talks to sign.

However, Raphinha has emerged as the forward set to join Sterling at Stamford Bridge, with Tuchel personally driving the move for the player and sources believing an agreement is extremely close.

The Gunners’ initial bid was rejected last week, and Chelsea have now jumped ahead of Mikel Arteta’s club in the race for the 25-year-old, whose agent is former Chelsea midfielder Deco, who played for the club for two years. Given that a deal for Sterling is likely to be worth at least £50 million, signing Raphinha for £55 million would equate to Chelsea spending £105 million to effectively replace Romelu Lukaku, whose move to Inter Milan is expected to be finalized today.

Raphinha had 11 goals and three assists for Leeds last season as the club narrowly avoided relegation.

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