Barcelona are ready to match Chelsea’s £60m offer for the signing of Raphinha, according to the Times.
It is reported that the Blaugrana’s financial position has been strengthened by the sale of a portion of their television rights, and they are now ready to move forward with their approach for the Brazil winger.
The Catalan club sold 10% of its television rights for the next 25 years on Thursday in a deal worth €207.5m.
And despite Chelsea being the first club to have an offer for the 25-year-old accepted by Leeds, it now looks as though the Camp Nou hierarchy have maneuvered their way into pole position, with Raphinha reportedly preferring to move to the Catalan capital.
Meanwhile, according to Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona proposal for Raphinha is official and written, already sent – Leeds have no intention to accept that bid, as things stand.
Leeds want to respect the agreement with Chelsea – still waiting for player and Deco to accept.
Manchester United and City have reportedly joined Chelsea in the race for Matthijs de Ligt, who is pushing to leave Juventus.
The Bianconeri director Maurizio Arrivabene has confirmed to Tuttosport that the Netherlands international is willing to leave Turin after a three-year spell at the Allianz Stadium.
Chelsea have opened talks with the Serie A giants, but according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Manchester City and United are also interested.
Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag are long-time admirers of the 22-year-old, who worked with the Red Devils’ boss at Ajax before his €85.5m move to Juventus in 2019.
De Ligt scored eight goals in 117 appearances with the Bianconeri and has a €120m release clause included in his contract with the Serie A giants. Juventus want to sell him for a plain cash offer without including any player in a swap deal.
The only offer they’ve received so far is from Chelsea: €40m plus Timo Werner or Christian Pulisic.
Football Italia understands that Juventus could sit down with potential suitors for an offer in the region of €90-100m.
Juventus wanted to extend De Ligt’s contract, but the player has put negotiations on hold, asking to leave the Bianconeri in the summer.
Juventus were even open to lowering his release clause but will now listen to offers for the former Ajax captain.
Romelu Lukaku has given his first interview after the return to Inter and there were several swipes at Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel, says ‘I remained in contact with Simone Inzaghi throughout last season, the teammates are my brothers.’
The striker left for a club record transfer fee of €113m last summer, having won the Serie A title, but immediately regretted it and had already been working on a comeback since at least his Sky Sport Italia interview in December 2021.
Now he is back on loan for €8m plus bonuses, accepting a 35 per cent pay cut to push through the move, and will wear the Number 90 jersey.
“It’s a strong feeling, I think back to what I felt a year ago with this team and it was a great moment for the team, the fans and me personally,” said the Belgium international.
“Inter gave me so much and I now hope to do even better than before.”
He was announced via a video on the roof of the Inter headquarters with President Steven Zhang, who said there was a sense of déjà vu.
“We talked about many things, like how it seemed impossible for me to come back here, but we did it, and I have to thank him too for continuing to push and believe it was possible. We did it in the end and I am very happy.
“It’s like coming back home. I think that my family and I were really happy in Milano thanks to the fans and my teammates. From the first day I arrived, everyone helped me so much.
“I kept hold of my home when I went to England, so that shows you something. Now I just want to get back on the field with the lads.”
What convinced Lukaku to come back to Inter just a year after leaving, especially as it will be with Simone Inzaghi rather than Antonio Conte?
“The affection of the fans and my teammates, but also the opportunity to work with the coach. I remained in contact with him throughout all of last season.
“I think the coach is doing well with the squad, so I want to contribute to doing what is best for this club.”
It’s safe to say Lukaku did not fit in with the tactics or man-management style of Thomas Tuchel, but he is a big fan of Inzaghi.
“I saw the team play really well last season. I was disappointed they weren’t able to win the Scudetto, but they won two very important trophies (the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana). Many players improved a great deal, we must continue like this.
“Now we are in a position to launch a challenge to all the others: we want to prepare the new season and continue the journey we are on.”
It had been reported over the last couple of weeks that Lukaku was busy ringing all his Inter teammates, and he confirmed that is absolutely true.
“I spoke to practically everyone. I thank them all, because I wanted to return here, but they also pushed for my comeback. I must thank them, because they are like a family: they are my brothers.”
There was another swipe at the criticism he received when playing for Chelsea under Tuchel.
“I am not an individualistic player, I always think about the team. I want Inter to win and will do everything possible both in training and on the pitch to help Inter win.”
Does he have a message for the fans?
“I am happy to be back here. I will give my all every day to make the fans and my teammates happy again.”
Real Madrid are plotting their first youth signing from city rivals Atletico, after the end of a 15-year non-aggressive pact.
Right-back Jesus Fortea, born in 2007, is top of Real’s wish list of potential scoops from their crosstown foes, according to Marca.
The clubs had a verbal agreement between their respective presidents not to be aggressive at youth level, and it was in force for a decade and a half.
However, it was recently ended, which means Carlo Ancelotti’s Real and Diego Simeone’s Atletico might decide to ruthlessly try to take young talent from each other – with Real confident they will get the better side of that deal.
Fortea signed for Atletico from Levante three years ago, but seems to be on the verge of switching allegiances after his entourage met with Real.
The hit 15-year-old communicated on Saturday that he will not continue at Atletico, which has left the team angry they are losing a player of his calibre despite developing him over recent years.
One of the youngster’s agents, Toni Munoz, played an instrumental role in the transfer.
Chelsea efforts to sign Milan Skriniar have suffered a setback as Paris Saint-Germain have reportedly agreed personal terms with the Inter Milan defender.
The Blues’ new owners want to give the fans a top defensive signing this summer following the departure of Antonio Rudiger.
As reported by Calciomercato.com, Chelsea are keen to compete with PSG for Skriniar, who seems to be the Inter player most likely to be sold this summer. The Nerazzurri want around €80m or €70m plus add-ons for the 27-year-old Slovakian centre back and they’ve made it clear that they’re not interested in players in exchange.
But, according to Get French Football News, PSG are confident they have agreed personal terms with Inter defender Skriniar.
The initial €50m plus bonuses bid was rejected, but they are expected to strike a deal for €70m including add-ons over the next few days.
Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have also been linked with Skriniar, but Paris Saint-Germain remain the absolute favourites for the Slovakia international.
Neymar’s Brazil team-mate and former PSG player Thiago Silva would be keen for him to move to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The forward, who joined PSG from Barcelona in a world-record £200m deal in 2017, contributed 13 goals and eight assists in 28 matches last season.
The 30-year-old reportedly wanted to stay put and help the club fight for a first Champions League title but has now changed his mind because he is ‘not feeling the love’ at PSG.
“He has to come to Chelsea,” Silva told Jornal do Commercio .
“If it happens, it will be for the best. He doesn’t need to comment. As of now I don’t know anything, but I hope it will happen.”
Despite racking up 100 goals and 60 assists in 144 games for the club, PSG will find it difficult to offload the Brazil international due to the money involved.
Neymar’s £600,000-a-week contract is set to be extended to June 2027 at the end of the month and not many clubs can afford such an outlay.
RMC notes that the star’s former club, Barcelona, do not have the funds to sign him, while Manchester United would need to offload Cristiano Ronaldo first and Newcastle would represent a major step down in a World Cup year. Chelsea are considered a possibility following Todd Boehly’s takeover.