Raphinha ‘very close’ to Arsenal transfer but Chelsea already have two alternatives

Raphinha 'very close' to Arsenal transfer but Chelsea already have two alternatives

Leeds United winger and Chelsea target Raphinha could be on the verge of signing for Arsenal. According to GOAL, the Brazil international is ‘very close’ to sealing a move to the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta looks to bolster his options.

Chelsea are understood to have watched Raphinha on numerous occasions last season and were planning a move for the winger if Leeds had been relegated. However, the Whites stayed up in dramatic fashion on the final day of the season, meaning there was no chance of the cut-price deal that the Blues could have taken advantage of if the Yorkshire club did indeed go down.

Barcelona are also interested in Raphinha, but Arsenal are trying to take advantage of the La Liga club and their current financial uncertainty. It appears Chelsea were never too serious about signing the talented Brazilian wide man, but the Blues do have other alternatives.

READ MORE: What Richarlison told Frank Lampard that hints at Chelsea position if £75m transfer is sealed

Raheem Sterling is one of the club’s top targets this summer, football.london understands, with the England international having just one year left to run on his Manchester City contract. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele remains of interest to the Blues, with the Frenchman looking set to become a free agent at the end of the month.

A source disclosed to football.london on Sunday that Chelsea believe signing both Sterling and Dembele is doable, rather than one or the other. Romelu Lukaku, who is closing in on a return to Inter Milan, could prove pivotal in all of this.

Once the Blues can offload Lukaku and his high wage demands, then the likeliness of players then coming in increases. Richarlison is another target for Chelsea, who is more of a natural No.9 than Sterling and Dembele.

Thomas Tuchel, who has been handed full control of transfer-related activity this summer, conceded last month that the job of completely rebuilding Chelsea’s squad will be difficult. The Blues head coach said: “The rebuild is big. The two top clubs [Manchester City and Liverpool] improve their teams – and they already have teams that are very clear on which to build.

“A rebuild is necessary for us, and that makes it more challenging, of course. We have clear ideas for the profiles and characteristics of these players. But it is not like we put a name on the list, and then we get the player.

“We have to convince ourselves this is the player [we need]. So there is normally a lot of work, and it will be the same to be competitive next season while everyone else tries to close the gap to us.”

Source by Football London

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