Raphinha admits rejecting Chelsea to follow Barcelona ‘dream’

Raphinha has revealed that he was determined to seal a transfer to Barcelona this summer, insisting no other offer could have compared to his ‘dream’ move.

The winger was heavily expected to leave Leeds United for Barça for much of 2022, with the Blaugrana lining up a cut-price deal in the event that the Whites were relegated from the Premier League.

However, Leeds managed to survive on the final day of the 2021/22 season, with Raphinha scoring in their decisive 2-1 win at Brentford, and so the asking price was raised.

Barcelona were always confident of landing Raphinha regardless, though a rival €65m offer from Chelsea and interest from Arsenal and Tottenham threatened to derail their pursuit.

But in an interview with La Vanguardia, the Brazil international said his sole focus was on joining Barcelona.

When asked if he turned down a proposal from Chelsea, Raphinha replied: “Yes, because my dream was to wear the Barcelona shirt, which is a club that I have followed since I was very young. Since Ronaldinho arrived. With him I began to understand a little more the history of the club. I wanted to be a part of this.

“So that dream, those desires were stronger than any other proposal no matter how powerful it was financially.”

Raphinha scored his first goal for Barcelona in their 3-0 win at Sevilla last weekend, though he has not yet made his Champions League debut after remaining an unused substitute against Viktoria Plzen in midweek.

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