'I felt ashamed': Club owner gutted not to sell 'special player' to Chelsea, says he disrespected Todd Boehly

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has told The Athletic that he felt bad that he couldn’t sell Raphinha to Chelsea this summer.

The Brazilian was targeted by numerous clubs this summer, despite Leeds’ dramatic Premier League survival upping his price tag.

The Blues agreed a fee with the club to sign the 25-year-old, however personal terms were never discussed between the two parties.

Photo by Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images

Instead, a move to Barcelona appealed to Raphinha far more than the switch to Stamford Bridge, holding out for an offer from the Catalan side long enough for them to cough up the cash.

The player was deemed the perfect complement for Raheem Sterling in attack, and Radrizzani has claimed that he disrespected Todd Boehly by not selling to him.

Radrizzani disrespected Boehly

He said: “Raphinha is a special player. Honestly I think with a good World Cup he can become one of the top 20 players in the world. Why keep him in a cage?

“For me it was done, the deal with Chelsea. My word is my word and I felt ashamed to go back to Todd Boehly, the owner of Chelsea and change the position, for me it was really disrespectful and not the right thing to do. But I didn’t have a choice.”

Photo by Ivan Yordanov/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Boehly has endured an interesting start to his tenure as Chelsea owner, with the Raphinha story repeating itself in the saga to sign Jules Kounde from Sevilla.

Barcelona again ousted them to the deal, with the American forced to reconsider his transfer targets as the window enters its final month.

However, it seems the club are finally starting to build on the acquisitions of Raheem Sterling and Kalidou Koulibaly.

As well as the additions of young stars Carney Chukwuemeka and Gabriel Slonina, the Blues are expected to announce the signing of Marc Cucurella imminently.

Jack is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has freelanced for The Athletic and The Sun. Jack has reported live from Premier League and Championship grounds, whilst also being published in the Non League Paper.