Report: Chelsea close to beating Arsenal in race to sign Raphinha

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Chelsea have leapfrogged London rivals Arsenal to move into pole position to sign Raphinha.

The Blues are understood to be on the verge of agreeing to a fee with Leeds United for the winger that could be worth more than £55 million, reports David Ornstein of The Athletic.

However, the race for Raphinha's signature isn't yet finished.

Arsenal remain in pursuit after reportedly pledging to return with an improved offer following Leeds' rejection of their initial bid.

Tottenham Hotspur were also linked to Raphinha, while it's been reported that Barcelona previously agreed to personal terms with him but have failed to match Leeds United's valuation.

If Raphinha, who's under contract until 2024, does decide on a move to Stamford Bridge, he'll join a retooling Chelsea outfit that's in the process of trying to complete another blockbuster transfer for Manchester City's Raheem Sterling.

Raphinha, who joined Leeds from Rennes for £17 million in 2020, scored 11 goals in 35 Premier League appearances last season.

If Arsenal miss out on the Brazilian, the disappointment could be eased by the anticipated arrival of Raphinha's compatriot, Gabriel Jesus. The Gunners are reportedly close to signing the 25-year-old for £45 million.

Report: Chelsea close to beating Arsenal in race to sign Raphinha
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