Chelsea are still aiming to complete the signing of Raphinha, despite the threat of Barcelona attempting to hijack the deal if the Spanish club can rush through a cash injection.
Having agreed a fee of £55 million, plus add-ons, with Leeds United for the Brazilian, Chelsea have also broadly agreed personal terms with the offer of a five-year contract worth in the region of £115,000-a-week.
No problems are expected on that front and Chelsea’s new owners remain hopeful they have done enough to clinch the transfer, despite Raphinha’s agent holding 11th-hour talks with Barcelona.
Deco, the former midfielder who represents Raphinha, was spotted at Barcelona’s offices on Wednesday where it is believed he was making a final check to see if the Spaniards could somehow match Chelsea’s offer.
Barcelona have been working hard on a deal to raise over 200m euros by selling off a percentage of the club’s media rights which would allow them to trade again this summer.
A move for Robert Lewandowski has been held up while Barca try to raise the cash and the club are yet to register free transfer signings Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessi, or offer a new contract to Ousmane Dembele.
A bid to hijack Chelsea over Raphinha, who had hoped to move to the Nou Camp, also rests on a cash injection being secured quickly while Chelsea must hope they have already done enough to see off that particular threat.
It is understood that of his potential options in England, Raphinha would prioritise a move to Chelsea.
The plan remains for Raphinha to form a new £105m attack with Raheem Sterling, who Chelsea are in talks to sign, while the club are also making moves to strengthen their defence.
Alongside their talks over Sterling, Chelsea have discussed Nathan Ake with Manchester City and he remains the most likely candidate to succeed Antonio Rudiger on the left side of Thomas Tuchel’s defence.
Chelsea are also holding simultaneous talks for a number of other defenders, including Sevilla’s Jules Kounde and Juventus star Matthijs de Ligt. Should Chelsea sign Ake and Kounde, who can also provide cover in both the full-back positions, then the club could essentially sign a third central defender as well as that pair.
The move for Ake has raised doubts over the future of talented youngster Levi Colwill, who has attracted interest from Southampton and Leicester City.