Raphinha reveals Neymar talks helped sway Barcelona transfer despite Chelsea interest

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Neymar helped convince Raphinha to move to Barcelona ahead of Chelsea  (AFP via Getty Images)
Neymar helped convince Raphinha to move to Barcelona ahead of Chelsea (AFP via Getty Images)

Raphinha has revealed Neymar played a key role in helping convince him to join Barcelona instead of Chelsea.

During a record-breaking summer of spending at Stamford Bridge, the club were keen to sign the Brazilian international and had a £55m offer accepted by Leeds.

Arsenal were another club keen on a move for the 25-year-old after an excellent two seasons at Elland Road, with Raphinha having emerged as a leading target for a number of top clubs.

Despite operating amidst a backdrop of financial uncertainty, Barca managed to complete a huge deal for the winger, and later beat Chelsea to the signing of Jules Kounde.

Raphinha was one of the headline signings at the Camp Nou, joining former Blues Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso, Franck Kessie, Hector Bellerin and Robert Lewandowski.

While playing for the Catalan giants had always been a dream of his, Raphinha has revealed talks with compatriot Neymar helped sway his decision.

“I talked to Neymar about a move and he told me that if I get to Barcelona then I won’t regret and he was right,” the forward told La Vanguardia.

“I rejected Chelsea because my dream was to wear the Barcelona shirt.”