Nico Williams FC Barcelona
Camp Nou FC Barcelona

Leeds United winger Raphinha was wanted by top Premier League clubs like Chelsea and Arsenal but eventually, he snubbed all these teams to join FC Barcelona.

At one moment, it was almost certain that Chelsea were about to land the winger but eventually, the Blues missed out on him.

Arsenal’s name was also mentioned amidst the list of admirers but now Arsenal director Edu has lifted the lid over the reality of the Raphinha transfer and how close they were to sign him.

“People think we went in too deep about Raphinha, because Raphinha was everywhere,” he said, as quoted.

“It’s fair we did have some conversations with Deco because Deco is his agent and I have a good relationship [with him] – we are friends.

“I just said to Deco, ‘Can you explain to me the situation with Raphinha?’ and he was clear, ‘Edu, we have a good relationship but I’m not going to lie to you, his idea is to go to Barcelona because he’s dreaming to go to Barcelona, and we’ve been talking to Barcelona since a long time ago’.

“Okay, thank you very much, if something happens then just let me know because I can explore and understand the situation. If not, no problem and we carry on with our relationship.”

Raphinha always had Barcelona in mind?

The buzz in the media was that Arsenal had tried very hard to sign Raphinha but if Edu is to be believed then that was certainly not the case.

And, keeping in line with this statement, we can conclude that even Chelsea were also not close to signing the former Leeds man.

Many think Barcelona staged a coup by signing the winger but in reality, they were always the favourites to sign Raphinha.

Some reports had suggested that Barca were in contact with the player’s agent since early February and all they needed to do was sort out their finances before making a formal move for the winger.

Chelsea might have tested the waters by making a couple of official bids to Leeds United but the Elland Road outfit would not have been too bothered because all they wanted was their demanded transfer fee. Raphinha wanted to join Barcelona and the Catalans were ready to pay the correct amount – it was like a match made in heaven for Leeds United.

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