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PL rivals close to sealing big-money deal for Liverpool target playing in England

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Transfer News: Chelsea close to agreeing on a deal for Liverpool target and Leeds United Raphinha

Chelsea are leading the race to sign Liverpool target Raphinha as the Stamford Bridge side agree to a deal worth more than £55million with Leeds United, according to David Ornstein of The Athletic (Subscription Required) [h/t Liverpool Echo].

The Brazilian was linked with a move to the Reds, but it seems the Blues are now frontrunners in the race to prize the 25-year-old from the West Yorkshire club.

Liverpool won’t feel they missed out

Raphinha has shown his quality in the Premier League the last two seasons. The Brazilian has helped Leeds stay in the top flight of English football and now looks set to move on to a team challenging for titles.

Liverpool target Raphina is close to joining Chelsea.
Liverpool target Raphina is close to joining Chelsea.

The 25-year-old’s performances in West Yorkshire have merited a move and Jesse Marsch’s side looks set to go again next season without one of their best players. In 66 appearances for the Elland Road club, the winger has scored 17 and assisted 11 goals.

A move to West London seems best for the player’s chances to get more first-team action in a top team. With Chelsea struggling in the attack last season, Raphinha could be a good fit for them.

But a move to Anfield wouldn’t have been easy for the 25-year-old. If the Brazil national had moved to Merseyside, Mohamed Salah would’ve been ahead of him in Jurgen Klopp’s plans.

The left-footed winger, who primarily plays on the right for Leeds, would’ve found it hard to dismantle the Egyptian from his position in the first team. While Raphinha is a great player, Salah is a player that has cemented his place in Liverpool’s attack.

With this in mind, signing the Brazilian for big money just to have him sit on the bench or play out of position wouldn’t have made sense from the Reds’ point of view. The player also would’ve considered the aspect of playing time when deciding which club to choose.

With an already stacked offensive line with the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Roberto Firmino and Darwin Nunez, Raphinha’s signing isn’t something the Reds require currently.

Raphinha would've found a starting berth difficult to come by at Liverpool.
Raphinha would’ve found a starting berth difficult to come by at Liverpool. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Maybe the signing would’ve made sense in a year’s time since Salah and Firmino’s contracts are expiring. But right now, Liverpool can calmly focus on next season’s targets and silverware aspirations.

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From Raphinha’s point of view, waiting that long may not have made total sense with the FIFA World Cup later this year. A place in Brazil’s national team is up for grabs and he will do everything in his power to get that.