To say that Chelsea have been relatively slow in the transfer market so far would be an understatement. The Blues have preferred to focus on some of the most important internal tasks since Todd Boehly took over as manager, which they have apparently now completed. The new regime has sorted out the membership problem, cleaned house when it comes to the board and dispatched the team’s biggest flaw, Romelu Lukaku. The next item on Boehly’s to-do list is sorting out incoming transfers, and that’s where the fun comes in.
Sanctions and other issues that needed to be resolved at the club both contributed to Chelsea’s late exit in the race for Premier League supremacy in 2022/23. Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham have started, making plenty of additions to strengthen their respective squads so far. Meanwhile, the Blues and Manchester United have fallen behind, the only difference being that the former have an excuse for their inactivity. Chelsea made a move for a player who was expected to be their first signing late last month when they agreed a £60million transfer for Raphinha from Leeds United. However, there has been no development since due to the player not agreeing to the personal terms.
Should Chelsea drop their pursuit of Raphinha after 10 days of waiting?
The Blues have put an offer on the table for Brazil’s representatives to consider. According to the reports, it is a relatively lucrative offer, thus, it would keep the future former Leeds United winger in west London for at least the next five years. Chelsea – in particular Boehly, who are handling all negotiations – sent Raphinha this offer quickly as the club want to move quickly in the transfer market this summer. However, there has been no response from Raphinha or her agent, Deco.
Raphinha is said to be waiting for Barcelona to step in and hijack the transfer. He’s had a deal with the Blaugrana on personal terms since the start of the year, according to transfer guru Fabrizio Romano, and he intends to honor that gentlemen’s agreement. But the problem is that Barcelona currently cannot afford to meet Leeds’ asking price, as the Blues did on June 29. This begs the question: should Chelsea end their pursuit of the 25-year-old after waiting for his response for over a week? ?
Many fans dispute that the Blues are apparently his second choice. As my colleague Olaoluwa Nwobodo so graciously put it recently, this thought process is nonsense. The concern isn’t so much that Raphinha ‘doesn’t want Chelsea’, but rather the player who wants to join Barcelona so badly that he’s willing to jeopardize a move to the Blues to fulfill his dream move. Only the player – and possibly his agent – knows how long he’s ready to hold out against the Blaugrana’s growing interest. A precedent was set before, and now we know players will be waiting a long time to earn a move to the Catalan club amid their financial troubles.
The problem is Chelsea can’t afford to play the waiting game any longer. We are already in a month of transfer window and the Blues have not signed a single signature. Raheem Sterling’s move to west London is imminent, but if Chelsea have any hope of a smooth attack next season, they must bring in a right-winger before the end of pre-season. The Blues can’t sit and wait for Raphinha’s response for another 10 days as the season starts in less than a month. They would look insane if, after another extended period, his answer remained unchanged and he ultimately rejected a move to SW6. It’s clear that Thomas Tuchel has a very high opinion of the Brazilian which is a promising sign. That being said, he’s not special enough to receive preferential treatment like some of the world’s biggest superstars.
Chelsea must set a deadline for Raphinha to make her final decision soon. It would be in the Blues’ best interest as they continue to shop around in the summer transfer market for targets that would improve the squad in key areas. This could lead to the severing of relations between the club and the player for good, but Chelsea cannot wait for Raphinha as they seek to rebuild during this pivotal time.
What do you think the Blues should do in this situation? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!