February 21, 2024

Leeds Owner Andrea Radrizzani felt “embarrassed” when he said it Chelsea president Todd Boehly that their position was passed Raphinhahis transcript had changed.

Last month, after one of the longest transfer sagas of the window so far, Barcelona finally completed the signing of Rafinha from Leeds in a deal worth up to £55m.

But before that deal was signed, sealed and delivered, a number of clubs expressed interest in signing the Brazilian forward, including Premier League side Chelsea.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

In fact, in a fascinating interview with The Athlete This week, Leeds owner Radrizzani says a deal with Chelsea was “done” until so-called “Barcelona influences” came along and changed everything.

Radrizzani said: “For me, it’s done, and when I have a deal my word is my word. I felt ashamed to go back to Todd Boehly and change positions.

“We did the deal with Chelsea because the player wanted to leave and was open to listening to offers from Premier League clubs.

“Chelsea were favorable to him [option]. But alas, let’s just say the Barcelona influences convinced the player to wait, wait, wait until they found a solution.

“This again shows the power and leverage that the players and their agents have in the system, which to me is too much, too much.

“We are making a lot of investments to build clubs. We invest hundreds of millions but all the power that seems to be [with] agents and representatives of these players”.

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

After signing a contract with Barcelona until 2027, the Brazil international said it was a lifelong dream to sign for the Catalan giants.

“All my idols played and made history here, so it’s a great honor and I can’t thank Barca enough for giving me the opportunity to wear this shirt,” Rafinha said.

“I hope I can achieve half of what my idols have achieved here. It’s a dream come true for me and my family. I will do my best to help this club win (trophies).”

Barca president Joan Laporta is equally excited about the deal. “The beautiful game is back in Barcelona and that means a lot to our club,” he said.

“For us, it’s very exciting because all of us who lived through the golden years of Barca, there was always a Brazilian.

“Raphinha reminds us of this tradition. and he is here to take up that baton.

“Xavi wanted to have Rafinha and we did everything we could. At all times, Rafinha has shown his desire to sign for Barca and that was very important.”

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