Raphinha transfer another big blow for Ousmane Dembele

Suraj Radia
Suraj Radia 29 Jun 2022 21:55 BST 3 min read
Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona, 2021/22

Leeds United star Raphinha looks set for a big transfer this summer however his move could end up having huge ramifications for the ambitions of another winger in Ousmane Dembele.

Raphinha is thought to be close to a move to Chelsea after they agreed a fee with Leeds in the region of £55 million, although Barcelona are said to be making a last-ditch attempt to hijack the move.

The Brazil international is believed to favour a move to Barcelona and they are keen on signing the 25-year-old although they may not be able to match Chelsea’s offer.

Should Raphinha join Chelsea, it would leave Dembele with little option over his future, with the Frenchman out of contract and potentially out of options of clubs that can match his wage demands.

What does the future hold for Dembele?

Dembele joined Barcelona for an eyewatering €145m in 2017 but his time at the club has been hampered by injury and he was on course to leave the club without much fuss.

However, the arrival of manager Xavi mid-season saw his fortunes turn and he ended up grabbing a league-high 13 assists in the second half of the season.

Xavi is desperate to keep the former Rennes man and he has been offered a new deal by the club but he is said to be disappointed by the reduction of his wages by almost a third.

The 25-year-old is thought to be holding out for around €300,000 a week however clubs appear reluctant to offer that due to concerns over his fitness, consistency and attitude.

Paris Saint-Germain were among the sides that were linked to him but the renewal of Kylian Mbappe saw the French side cool their interest.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel managed Dembele at Dortmund and was hoping for a reunion with him in England but his demands meant they opted for Raphinha instead.

And the club are looking to move for Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling, giving Dembele little choice outside of lowering his expectations and sticking to Barcelona.

Should the Spanish side beat Chelsea to Raphinha, the Blues could return for Dembele but his lack of options would likely see them offer an even smaller package if they are still even interested at all.

Ultimately the winger’s gamble and seemingly unreasonable demands could see him forced into a corner and he may have to accept his value isn’t as high as it once was.

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