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Barcelona set to beat Chelsea to both Ousmane Dembélé and Raphinha — reports

womp womp wompppp

FC Barcelona v A-League All Stars Photo by Steve Christo - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Barcelona president Joan Laporta boasted last weekend that they would reach positive resolutions in every single one of their transfer ambitions after pulling financial levers like they’re in some casino — except these levers pay out handsomely — and that indeed appears to be the case.

In the past week, they’ve announced the signings of both Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessié on free transfers, have continued to stand strong on Frenkie De Jong, and now look to have broken through in not only re-signing Ousmane Dembélé but also adding Raphinha.

Dembélé officially became a free agent on July 1, but that didn’t really change his overall situation. Chelsea certainly didn’t seem to be pushing too hard beyond our initial reported contacts. Barca meanwhile seem to have softened their stance just enough to break through. Dembélé’s return is not yet official, but it’s quite likely at this point.

In addition, Barcelona have now managed to match Chelsea’s offer for Raphinha — structured differently but same overall value (or at least same ballpark) — and the expectation is that Leeds United will find this acceptable. As soon as they do, Raphinha will be able to choose his heart-club over his brain-club. Oh well.

At the end of the day, neither of these developments really affect Chelsea that much, despite the meaty sagas around both. Raheem Sterling looks to be our big arrival in attack and the focus should be and needs to be on the defense anyway.

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