Chelsea are reportedly considering offering Hakim Ziyech to Leeds in a swap deal for Raphinha.
Arsenal are said to be readying a second bid for the Brazilian after their opening offer was immediately dismissed as it fell way below Leeds’ valuation.
But a number of other clubs are said to be interested, including Raphinha’s preferred option Barcelona, as well as Tottenham, and now Chelsea.
The Athletic’s David Ornstein claimed on Thursday that Thomas Tuchel is keen on the 25-year-old, with a view to playing him at wing-back at Stamford Bridge next season.
Ornstein said: “Chelsea present Champions League football but they’re still getting their recruitment plans together. They also, as I understand it, would quite like to play him as a wing-back; I’m not sure if he [Raphinha] would want that.”
And now CBS Sports’ Ben Jacobs claims Chelsea could offer Ziyech in exchange for Raphinha, with the Whites said to be interested in the Moroccan.
He told The Football Terrace: “Don’t be surprised if Chelsea advance their interest if they bring Hakim Ziyech into the equation because my understanding from talking to Leeds sources separate to Raphinha is that Ziyech, should he leave Chelsea, has been a player on their radar.
“So there might be a possibility to do some business with Raphinha coming one way and Ziyech being given to Leeds. Because Leeds don’t just want a chunk of money for Raphinha to the tune of £55/£60million potentially, they would love to have a ready-made replacement.
“And they see Ziyech as a viable option and that would remain the case even if Raphinha goes elsewhere.”
Leeds are already seemingly targeting a replacement for Raphinha, who looks destined to leave the club before the start of the 2022/23 campaign.
Ousmane Dembele remains a target for Thomas Tuchel, but the club are waiting on fresh talks between the Frenchman and Barcelona boss Xavi, who wants to retain him at Nou Camp.
Initial talks are said to have been held with the representatives of Raheem Sterling, who is thought to be interested in a move to Stamford Bridge as Manchester City look to move him on this summer.
And a report claims they could also hijack United’s move for Ajax winger Antony.