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SPORTS UPDATE

Transfer: Joan Laporta reveals two Chelsea targets are waiting for Barcelona

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has made it clear that Chelsea target, Raphinha, was to join the Catalans instead of the London side.

He said Barcelona are ready to beat Chelsea to the Brazilian’s signature and also that of Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.

Chelsea came close to signing Kounde last summer before the Spanish side raised their asking price to €80 million (£68.5m).

The France international has remained the Blues target despite manager Thomas Tuchel’s side also prioritising a move for Matthijs de Ligt from Juventus.

Barcelona want Kounde at Camp Nou next season but are constrained by their financial issues.

He also said that Leeds United are waiting for Barcelona to up their bid for Raphinha, despite accepting Chelsea’s £55m.

When asked about a potential deal for Kounde, Laporta told COPE: “Talk to Mateu [Alemany, Barca’s director of football] about this. We have many in the pipeline.

“We think we will activate the second lever next week.

“We’ve spoken to Leeds, I don’t think they will be offended. We have communication and we have spoken personally,” Laporta said.

“What happens is that there are other clubs that want Raphinha and are making their proposals. He wants to come.”

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