Chelsea and Premier League rivals interested in signing £51 million-rated Barcelona superstar in summer: Reports


Chelsea are reportedly keen to sign Barcelona star Raphinha, who has also drawn interest from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur, ahead of the 2024-25 term.

According to SPORT, Barcelona are willing to part ways with a few of their players to help resolve their ongoing economic issues. They are hoping to raise significant funds soon and are ready to cash in on Raphinha, who has been linked with Saudi Arabian side Al-Hilal too.

Raphinha, who arrived from Leeds United in move worth up to £55 million in 2022, has emerged as a sellable asset for Barcelona due to Lamine Yamal’s recent rise. The 27-year-old, however, is not keen to depart the La Liga giants and could try to use his ex-agent and Blaugrana sporting director Deco’s help to remain at the club.

An ex-Sporting CP and Stade Rennais wide operator, Raphinha has featured in 70 outings across all competitions for Barcelona. He has scored 14 goals and laid out 19 assists in 3,916 minutes of action so far.

Should the £51 million-rated Brazilian move to Chelsea in the future, he would pop up as a vital starter for them. He would start ahead of Noni Madueke on the side’s right flank in their preferred 4-2-3-1 system.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are reportedly interested in launching a permanent move to lure Brazilian teenager Estevao Willian away from Palmeiras in the future. The 16-year-old left-footed winger is thought to have his heart set on a transfer to the Xavi Hernandez-coached side.

Roy Keane lauds Chelsea after recent win

Earlier on Wednesday, Chelsea advanced to the FA Cup fifth round after defeating Aston Villa 3-1 in their fourth round replay. Conor Gallagher, Nicolas Jackson, and Enzo Fernandez each scored a goal apiece.

Speaking on ITV Sport, Manchester United legend Roy Keane showered praise on the west London outfit for their recent improvement. He elaborated (h/t Metro):

“It’s like the old Chelsea. Brilliant, strong, physical and sharp in possession. Good decision-making, two quality goals. They have been excellent. Hunting in packs, working in numbers, and they were playing like a team tonight.”

Remarking on Chelsea’s first two goals against Villa, Keane continued:

“It was a nice bit of composure and a beautiful strike from Gallagher and they’ve been everything you want as a team. Simple but quality. The [second goal] is lovely, it’s great quality all round. We questioned Jackson’s finishing pre-game but again, it’s a lovely goal.”

The Blues, who lost two back-to-back matches before their victory at Villa, will face Leeds United in their next FA Cup clash on February 28.

Edited by Debkalpa Banerjee

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