Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has confirmed that Tottenham Hotspur had shown an interest in Raphinha earlier in the summer transfer window.
Raphinha eventually joined Barcelona in a deal worth an initial £50million, plus an additional £5million in add-ons (Phil Hay). However, he was linked with a potential move to Tottenham at one point (Football.London), which did not come to fruition in the end.
Spurs were not alone in the race, with their London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea also having expressed their interest in the Brazilian. The Blues even had reached an agreement with Leeds for a fee up to £60-£65million (Fabrizio Romano) but failed to get the deal over the line.
Radrizzani has now shared that Antonio Conte’s side were interested in signing Raphinha this summer, but despite Chelsea having offered the most attractive deal, he ended up moving to the Camp Nou.
Speaking to The Athletic’s YouTube channel, Radrizzani said: “We had interest from Arsenal, from Tottenham and from Chelsea and from Barcelona. The best deal we agreed was with Chelsea. At the end, the deal which came up with Barcelona was pretty much the same, the way we structured it at the very end. But it took time.”
Fabio Paratici and co instead opted to sign Richarlison from Everton for a fee in the region of £60million (BBC). That is a great move on our part, especially after the setback we have been dealt in our attempt to sign Raphinha. One could even say that signing the ex-Toffees forward is the better choice for us anyway.
After all, Richarlison can play anywhere in the frontline as a striker and even on the wings. Raphinha, on the other hand, can only play on both sides of the attack, which makes our summer signing a better prospect indeed. That is because the former Everton ace can address the lack of depth in the forward areas to a great extent with his versatility.
We already have Dejan Kulusevski and Lucas Moura on the right-wing, so Raphinha would have only been a backup option on the left-hand side to Son Heung-Min anyway. After Steven Bergwijn’s departure, Richarlison can now deputise as a left winger and a centre-forward as well, with Harry Kane having no other option to back him up in the centre.
Losing out on Raphinha can be considered an unexpected advantage as we could get our hands on Richarlison, who solves our lack of depth in several positions. Now all that is left is for him to showcase his strengths in the best manner so our investment can bear fruit moving forward.