Chelsea are back in the race to sign the Barcelona forward Raphinha

Chelsea are back in the race to sign the Barcelona forward Raphinha

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The Premier League side wanted the Brazilian last summer but he chose Barça

Chelsea missed out on Raphinha last year, but they have not forgot about him. The London club have already expressed their interest in signing the Brazilian in the upcoming summer transfer window and Barcelona are aware of this. The Blaugrana are satisfied with his progression and would prioritise other sales that would generate more net profit for the club, although the sports area is going to study case by case in a summer that could be very busy.

Raphinha has established himself in the starting line-up after Dembélé's injury and has had some great moments of football this season, although he is not at his best at the moment. The idea of the player, who is very happy at Barcelona, is to stay in the team and Xavi sees room for improvement, but Barça will be forced to sell players to balance the books and it is clear that Raphinha could end up being an emergency solution if other players are unwilling or unable to leave.

Chelsea bid with Barça a few months ago for Raphinha's signature. Their transfer offer to Leeds was higher than the Blaugrana's, but the player decided to sign for the Catalan club and the deal was finally completed for 58 million euros plus seven million euros in variables. It was the most expensive signing of this summer, so his sale, in the case of being carried out, would have to be for a higher amount than what was paid at the time.

Raphinha's agent, the former player Deco, has been in Brazil for weeks and plans to return to Europe in mid-April. Deco is also aware of Chelsea's interest, but maintains that the player will remain in Barcelona, unless the club decides otherwise. At the moment, the sports department is studying all the possible offers that may arrive for players and at the end of the season the departures will be decided together with the coach, Xavi Hernandez. It is necessary to sell (or make savings) for just over 150 million euros for the club to be able to sign players this summer.

Chelsea, who are having a mediocre season, including two changes of coach, are already preparing a new sporting project with the departure of up to seven players from their current squad. Owner Tood Boehly has already shown that he is not afraid to invest money in new players and understands that Raphinha can be an important player in the future. The Brazilian showed very good performances at Leeds and several English clubs -- including Arsenal -- were interested in him.

At Barça, it is clear that they need a complete overhaul of the attacking line. The goalscoring record this season has been poor and Robert Lewandowski needs more support. The Blaugrana will listen to offers for Ferran Torres and Ansu, but the two players are reluctant to leave and the offers that could come in would be less than those for the Brazilian.

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