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Chelsea ‘to rival Tottenham Hotspur for Barcelona winger Raphinha’

Chelsea are reportedly ready to rival Tottenham Hotspur in the race to sign Barcelona winger Raphinha.

Chelsea are reportedly still interested in signing Barcelona winger Raphinha in the summer.

In 2022, soon after the takeover of the Blues, new co-owners Todd Boehly and Clearlake Capital attempted to bring in Raphinha from Leeds United.

However, like they later did with Sevilla defender Jules Kounde, the Premier League outfit lost out to Barcelona in the race for his signature.

Since his arrival at Camp Nou, Raphinha can claim to have enjoyed a successful stint, winning a La Liga title and contributing 14 goals and 19 assists from 70 appearances in all competitions.

Nevertheless, at a time when Barcelona’s financial issues have been well-documented, it has been suggested that Raphinha is viewed as their most sellable asset.

Barcelona's Raphinha looks dejected after the match on December 16, 2023

© Reuters

As it stands, the 27-year-old may see no reason to depart Barcelona courtesy of making regular appearances, albeit some of them coming from the substitutes’ bench.

That said, there is likely to only be increasing interest in Raphinha’s services if clubs – particularly Premier League teams – are aware of his availability.

According to Fichajes, Chelsea remain interested in trying to entice Raphinha to Stamford Bridge in the next transfer window.

With Boehly and Clearlake Capital having spent in excess of £1bn across their first three transfer windows, Chelsea have just endured a January where they made no senior additions.

Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino reacts on December 16, 2023© Reuters

Pochettino is also well stocked for options in the final third, with Cole Palmer, Raheem Sterling, Mykhaylo Mudryk and Noni Madueke able to operate from the flanks.

Unless things changes, there appears little prospect of any of that quartet leaving Chelsea due to their long-term contracts, yet Raphinha seemingly appears high on the club’s shortlist.

A recent report claimed that Chelsea must first make numerous sales in the summer, before their next accounts are due on June 30, if they are to fully comply with the Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability regulations.

Should that prove to be true, Chelsea would have to wait until July to make their move, a situation that would not suit Barcelona at a time when the Catalan giants need to make widespread cutbacks of their own.

Tottenham Hotspur and Newcastle United are also said to be monitoring the situation, the latter also having work to do to ensure that they have a more balanced hold of FFP matters going forward.

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