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Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani admits he 'disrespected' Chelsea owner Todd Boehly over Raphinha deal

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani admits he 'disrespected' Chelsea owner Todd Boehly over Raphinha deal

A deal with Chelsea for winger Raphinha was "done", according to Radrizzani.

Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani felt "ashamed" when he told Chelsea chairman Todd Boehly that their position over Raphinha's transfer had changed.

Last month, after one of the longest-running transfer saga's of the window thus far, Barcelona finally completed the signing of Raphinha from Leeds in a deal worth up to £55 million.

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

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

In fact, in a fascinating interview with The Athletic this week, Leeds owner Radrizzani says a deal with Chelsea was "done" until the so-called "influences of Barcelona" came along and changed everything.

Radrizzani said: "For me, it was done, and when I have a deal my word is my word. I felt ashamed to go back to Todd Boehly and change my position.

"We made the deal with Chelsea because the player wanted to go and he was open to listening to offers from Premier League clubs.

"Chelsea was in his favourable [option]. But unfortunately, let’s say Barcelona influences convinced the player to wait, to wait, to wait until they could find a solution.

"This shows again the power and the leverage players and their agents have in the system, which for me is exaggerated, too much.

"We do a lot of investment to build clubs. We invest hundreds of millions but all the power it seems to be [with] agents and representatives of these players."

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

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

“All my idols played and made history here so it's a huge honour and I can't thank Barca enough for giving me the chance to wear this jersey," Raphinha said.

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

Barca president Joan Laporta is equally as excited over the deal. “The beautiful game is back to Barcelona and that's very meaningful to our club," he said.

"For us, it is very exciting because all of us who have lived through Barca golden times, there has always been a Brazilian.

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

"Xavi wanted to have Raphinha and we have done what we could. At all times, Raphinha has shown his desire to sign for Barca and that has been very important."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy/The Athletic

Topics: Chelsea, Raphinha, Leeds United, Barcelona, Premier League