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Chelsea still fighting for Leeds United’s Raphinha as they close in on another £45million deal

Leeds Live logo Leeds Live 02/07/2022 Kyle Newbould
Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Raheem Sterling but remain hopeful of adding Raphinha as well. © Getty Images Chelsea are closing in on the signing of Raheem Sterling but remain hopeful of adding Raphinha as well.

Chelsea will not give up hope on Raphinha despite closing in on a deal for Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling, according to the Daily Mail . The Blues - backed by new owner Todd Boehly - are close to agreeing a deal with the Premier League champions worth £45million for the winger, but will not back out of their end of the Raphinha deal amid a summer of lavish spending.

Sterling has been at the Etihad for seven seasons since joining from Liverpool, with 131 goals in 337 appearances contributing towards four Premier League trophies, but he was often left out of the starting lineup for City’s biggest games last season amid competition from Jack Grealish and Phil Foden.

His potential arrival at Stamford Bridge is not thought to end the club’s pursuit of the Whites winger, with whom a £60million fee has already been agreed between the two clubs. The London-based club have, however, hit a Deco-shaped brick wall when trying to negotiate personal terms.

READ MORE: Leeds United transfer news LIVE: Kalvin Phillips exit and Raphinha latest, with third player to depart

The former Chelsea and Barcelona midfielder is now Raphinha’s agent and he has reportedly been stalling personal negotiations as the two hold out for their dream move to Barcelona. The Spanish club have made clear their intention to sign the 25-year-old Brazilian but are yet to officially match Chelsea’s offer.

Recent reports suggest a last-gasp effort to take Raphinha to Catalonia in the form of a €60million bid, which would hijack Chelsea’s attempts. They were hoping that a swift and decisive deal with Leeds and an attractive offer of £120,000-per-week would be enough to entice the winger before his dream club found the cash to make their move.

But a combination of cash injections - the sale of 10% of their television rights for around £178million and the potential sale of Frenkie De Jong for around £60million - has provided some much-needed cash and reignited Raphinha’s hope of a move to the Camp Nou. Chelsea’s intensifying efforts to sign Sterling by no means dampens then efforts regarding Raphinha, however, and Thomas Tuchel’s side remain hopeful that a deal can be struck for both.

They have already loaned Romelu Lukaku to Inter Milan just one year after buying him from the Serie A club for £97.5million, while Moroccan international Hakim Ziyech looks likely to leave the club for AC Milan. The likes of Callum Hudson-Odoi and Christian Pulisic may also move on from Stamford Bridge, opening up a large gap in the front-line with which they hope Raphinha and Sterling will fill.

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