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Thomas Tuchel’s transfer advice to Neymar that Raphinha must heed if he seals £55m Chelsea move



Chelsea have agreed a transfer fee with Leeds United but so far have been unable to convince Raphinha that Stamford Bridge is his next destination.

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - JUNE 02: Neymar Jr. of Brazil celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Raphinha (R)
SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA – JUNE 02: Neymar Jr. of Brazil celebrates scoring his side’s second goal with Raphinha (R)

Chelsea signing Neymar always felt far-fetched in many respects. The Brazilian commands a significant fee in salary and brings a certain furore in addition to his outstanding footballing ability. The reported news that the PSG star has activated a clause extending his contract until 2027 would appear to make any move even more problematic, even with the French side’s willingness.

That might lead to some disappointment at Stamford Bridge. It’s a move Thiago Silva has certainly shown some interest in. “He has to go to Chelsea,” Silva told JC. “If it happens, it will be for the best. He needs no comments. So far, I don’t know anything, but I hope it comes to fruition.”

It’s not the first time that Neymar has been part of a transfer saga at the Parc des Princes. Chelsea’s own Thomas Tuchel had to deal with a transfer circus surrounding the 119-times-capped ace when he hoped to make a return to Barcelona. Nevertheless, the relationship between the pair seemed to remain strong.

Neymar has described his ‘friendship’ with Tuchel and a ‘huge mutual respect’, saying that he: “developed a great affection towards him since the first time we spoke. When you have this great affection for your coach, you give your life on the pitch. For him I will do my best to win”.

For the moment, it does not seem that relationship will be rekindled, and the forward may have to fall back on some blunt advice from his former coach.

“They’re proud of their club, and it’s not so nice when you hear your player talking for weeks and weeks saying he wants to leave,” Tuchel told the Guardian in 2019. “As I told Neymar, sometimes it’s like this in life – you have to face the truth and deal with the consequences.”

Tuchel added: “Neymar has a good heart. Sometimes it’s a bit hard to see that he is a nice person when you only watch him play from the outside. But he is, he’s a nice guy. I told him: ‘You think the hardest part is over, but from now on, you have to deal with me, and I’m going to push you hard. So the hardest thing is still to come for you.'”

The 48-year-old’s approach with Neymar could be informative of his tactic with Raphinha if the Blues can land their man despite the 25-year-old’s preference for Barcelona. The Catalan side seems unable to match Chelsea’s transfer fee and even has other priorities before landing the winger.

A move to the Nou Camp may not be forthcoming for the Leeds star, and an extended stay at Elland Road or transfer to Stamford Bridge may be the only options for 2022/23. Either way, his character will need to prove his value.

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