• Raphinha is contracted with Leeds until 2024
  • He has netted 17 goals in 67 games for Leeds
  • Raphinha previously played for Sporting and Rennes

Chelsea are reportedly close to signing Leeds United forward Raphinha in the ongoing summer window.

Raphinha is contracted with Leeds until 2024 but has decided that it is the right time to move on. Chelsea have verbally informed Leeds that they are ready to pay $67 million for Raphinha, reported The Athletic.

After recently securing Gabriel Jesus from Manchester City, Arsenal have not raised their bid for Raphinha as yet. Chelsea’s transfer plans could be in trouble if the Gunners decide to increase their offer for the Brazilian forward.

Chelsea are now expected to begin negotiations over personal terms with Raphinha, according to The Guardian.

Even FC Barcelona were interested in Leeds’ in-demand Raphinha but they are believed to be out of the race due to their financial crisis. Ahead of the 2022 summer window, Raphinha informed Leeds that he wanted to leave the club and had asked them to sell him to Barcelona, according to Forbes.

It is understood that Chelsea’s co-owner Todd Boehly is willing to bring in two attacking players this summer at boss Thomas Tuchel’s request. While the club is hopeful of landing Raphinha, The Blues are also in talks with Manchester City over a possible deal for Raheem Sterling.

Tuchel is seeing Sterling as an ideal replacement for Romelu Lukaku, who has left the club for a loan with Inter Milan. It has been reported that Chelsea could approach the Etihad club in the coming days with an offer for Sterling, who could cost more than $55 million.

Raphinha played a key role in Leeds escaping relegation in the Premier League last term. He netted 11 goals and three assists in 35 league appearances for Leeds who eventually finished 17th in the table.

Raphinha of Leeds United
Raphinha of Leeds United Getty Images | Robin Jones

After starting off his senior career with the Portuguese club Vitória Guimarães, Raphinha switched to Lisbon-based Sporting before moving to Ligue 1 side Rennes.

In the summer of 2020, Raphinha joined Leeds on a four-year contract. The young forward netted 17 goals and 12 assists in 67 competitive appearances across two seasons with Leeds.