Chelsea face make-or-break Raphinha transfer meeting after receiving ‘no response’ on deal

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Chelsea are set to meet with the former player Deco today in a bid to push through a transfer for Raphinha. The Blues have already struck a £60million agreement with Leeds for the Brazilian international, who is yet to respond to Chelsea’s offer – sparking fears he is holding out for Barcelona.

The long-running saga took an unexpected twist on Tuesday evening when Chelsea immediately satisfied Leeds’ valuation of Raphinha with their opening offer.

They were handed the green light to discuss personal terms with the player but it seems they’re yet to make progress on that front.

Deco was pictured leaving Barcelona’s offices on Wednesday, where he met with Camp Nou officials Rafa Yuste, Mateu Alemany and Enric Masip.

The Calatan giants are understood to have outlined their desire to hijack Chelsea’s move for the 25-year-old, who they have already agreed terms with following discussions with Deco earlier in the year.

Raphinha’s preference is to join Barcelona and he’s believed to be prepared to hold out for a move to the Camp Nou, providing they can stump up the cash in due course.

According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, Chelsea are still yet to receive any form of response from Deco or Raphinha over their proposed move for the Leeds attacker – meaning today’s meeting could be make or break for the Blues.

He told Caught Offside: “Chelsea have had no official response from Deco/Raphinha. This is because Deco has met Barcelona who have had an agreement on Raphinha’s personal terms since March. Chelsea will have contact with Deco today to try to understand the situation.”

The Blues are patiently waiting for a positive answer but the longer the move rumbles on, the greater risk Barcelona pose to a late last-minute swoop.

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Manchester United’s pursuit of Frenkie de Jong is likely to bolster Barcelona’s spending power if a deal if pushed through imminently.

The Red Devils are believed to have agreed a basic fee of £56m plus add-ons for the Dutchman, although the move is still currently being negotiated.

Leeds are still keen to entertain bidders for Raphinha as they look to maximise their profits.

Even Arsenal at this stage cannot be ruled out but they would have to match or better Chelsea’s offer in order to hijack the move. Still the decision would rest with Raphinha and Deco.

Chelsea are hot in pursuit of other signings including Manchester City duo Raheem Sterling and Nathan Ake.

The Blues have tabled opening proposals for both players and there is optimism both deals could be pulled off.

Ake is of course a Chelsea fan at heart after coming through the youth ranks at Stamford Bridge.

Thomas Tuchel is now keen on bringing him back to west London after his 2017 move to Bournemouth. Sterling is Chelsea’s top attacking target.

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