Chelsea and Newcastle battling over signing of Barcelona star winger: report
A return to the Premier League could be possible for one Barca player as the club needs to raise funds this summer
Chelsea and Newcastle United are preparing for a summer transfer battle for Barcelona winger Raphinha, with the La Liga giants willing to sell the 26-year-old in the summer to increase funds for their own budget.
According to Spanish outlet Sport (opens in new tab), both Chelsea and Newcastle are keeping tabs on the situation at Camp Nou surrounding Raphinha.
Barcelona president Joan Laporta recently confirmed the club will need to sell some players in the summer transfer window, which manager Xavi reiterated in his pre-match press conference prior to Barca's 1-0 win against Athletic Club on Sunday.
While Raphinha is a regular starter in the Barcelona team, the Blaugrana reportedly need to make sales of around €150 million in the transfer window to comply with La Liga's strict financial fair play rules. Ideally the club would focus on selling players who have fewer minutes than the Brazilian, but they will bring in a smaller transfer fee than someone of his quality.
Raphinha is a valuable asset, and, according to reports, would be available at the the right price. Signed for £55 million, Barcelona would hope to recoup their investment, and even make a profit, if they were to sell the star winger.
Raphinha does not want to leave Barcelona, though, especially after only joining from Leeds United at the beginning of the season. Chelsea and Arsenal both tried to convince the Brazilian to join them last summer, but he held out for a dream move to Barcelona instead.
Since joining at the start of the 2022/23 campaign, Raphinha has played 37 times, scoring nine times and assisting on nine occasions, too. La Liga victory seems likely considering Barcelona are nine points clear of Real Madrid in second with 13 games remaining, with the 26-year-old playing an important role in the side's success in the league.
Chelsea are still monitoring the situation, while Newcastle have also joined them in keeping tabs on a high-profile potential signing. Champions League aspirations could leave both found wanting, though, with the former likely not going to reach the top four while Newcastle have recently dropped out of those places.
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Ryan is a staff writer for FourFourTwo, joining the team full-time in October 2022. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before eventually earning himself a position with FourFourTwo permanently. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer while a Trainee News Writer at Future.