Barca have always been the Brazilian’s favourite destination, but Chelsea were the only club to reach Leeds’ estimate of £55 million-plus £8 million in add-ons until recently.
However, a late move from the Nou Camp club means that the player’s dream move is now more possible. The news will come as a shock to Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel, who is close to finalizing a deal for Raheem Sterling with Manchester City.
The England international was in London for a medical before joining Chelsea on a pre-season trip in Los Angeles.
Barcelona’s pursuit of Raphinha has been impeded by financial concerns, including a rumoured debt of £508 million. And, with Leeds looking for upfront cash, a move to Catalonia appeared to be in the cards. However, the sale of television rights has improved circumstances.