Interest in Raphinha from Leeds United and work on Ousmane Dembele transfer to Barcelona


Chelsea hold an interest in Leeds United star Raphinha but are currently working on a deal for Ousmane Dembele from Barcelona, ​​according to reports.

The Blues are set to undergo a summer rebuild under head coach Thomas Tuchel, with several first-team players set to leave as more arrive.

Chelsea have been following Raphinha since his spell at Rennes and could be looking to make a move for him this summer.

However, a deal for Dembele seems to be getting closer as the France international could move to Stamford Bridge on a free transfer.

Tuchel is said to be ‘crucial’ to any potential deal as Dembele’s contract in Spain comes to an end at the end of June.

Chelsea were linked with the Barcelona forward in January but Tuchel has crushed all speculation it seems a summer move is more likely: “I haven’t had any contact with Ousmane. There hasn’t been any of contact in winter.”

Ousmane Dembele in action during the UEFA Europa League match between FC Barcelona and Eintracht Frankfurt at Camp Nou.

However, he continued to praise the winger, who now appears to be linked with Chelsea.

“He’s a very good player when he’s at his highest level. I’m very lucky to have coached him during my time at Dortmund. It was only a year, it should have been longer” , he added.

Athletic’s Adam Crafton has now reported Chelsea also hold an interest in another talented striker, Leeds United’s Raphinha.

However, his deal with Chelsea is complicated by the Blues pursuing a move for Dembele.

If Leeds were relegated, it was widely reported that Raphinha would have a £25million release clause, a bargain for a player of his quality.

Raphinha celebrates Leeds United's goal.  (Alamy)
Raphinha celebrates Leeds United’s goal. (Alamy)

Jesse Marsch’s men stayed up on the final day of the season, however, and as a result his release clause is not diminishing in value.

With Chelsea interested in the Brazilian, alongside Dembele several first-team players could leave, most likely one of Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech or Timo Werner, with the club ready to listen to offers from all three forwards.

It remains to be seen if there will be any interest in forwards, and if Chelsea will then turn their attention to Raphinha alongside Dembele ahead of a new era at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea technical and performance adviser Petr Cech is expecting a busy summer as he admitted: “It will be (a busy summer for Chelsea following the arrival of new owners). Of course, we plan, prepare and be as strong as possible next season.


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