Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Chelsea and Barcelona are amongst the clubs in the race for Leeds United winger Raphinha. The Brazilian is also highly admired by Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta.
Raphinha, 25, has become one of Europe's most sought-after attackers following an impressive season at Elland Road. The Brazilian managed 11 goals in 35 Premier league appearances for Jesse Marsch's side and was instrumental in their survival last season.
The former Rennes winger has been subject to interest from both Spain and England. Barcelona, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur, and Arsenal are all in the race to sign the Brazilian.
Romano has touched on the ongoing saga surrounding Raphinha's potential next move, writing for CaughtOffside:
"The Raphinha situation is truly one of the craziest in recent years. Barcelona have had an agreement with the Brazilian on personal terms since late February, but the idea of offering €40m is far from the demands of Leeds who want at least £65m."
Sharing details on Raphinha's concrete interest from the aforementioned clubs, he further wrote:
"Arsenal have made a first offer turned down by Leeds, while Tottenham are preparing a proposal and Chelsea have explored the situation with a direct call from Todd Boehly. Raphinha had given his ok to Barcelona as a priority for months, but is now really open to listening to English clubs. The decision will take a few days."
Romano further explained why he feels Raphinha has a bigger chance of remaining in the Premier League:
"In my opinion, it would be nice to keep seeing him in the Premier League and there is a very good chance for that to happen: for example, I know that Arteta is really in love with Raphinha, but Tottenham and Chelsea are absolutely in the race."
Raphinha's preference revealed as the likes of Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal circle for his signature
It seems more than likely that Raphinha will leave Leeds United this summer given the strong interest in his services. The Whites forward has two years left on his deal with the Peacocks and has a £65 million price tag.
The Athletic have reported that the Brazilian's first choice is to move to Barcelona, with the La Liga giants having previously agreed personal terms. However, Blaugrana's financial situation is putting the potential arrival of Raphinha at risk.
Meanwhile, Chelsea are his second choice as per the aforementioned report. Thomas Tuchel will be able to offer him Champions League football and are perhaps best placed to contend for trophies.
Mikel Arteta evidently admires the Brazilian but it seems the 25-year-old is eyeing a move to a side playing in Europe's elite club competition. Champions League football is something Arsenal cannot offer Raphinha next season, with the Gunners having finished outside the top four.
Tottenham Hotspur are doing so next season, having pipped Arteta's men to fourth in the Premier League table. But Raphinha is not their primary target as per the report.