Chelsea keeping close tabs on 22-year-old in-demand forward

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According to reports from Portuguese newspaper Record, as quoted by Football.London, Chelsea are scouting Sporting CP winger Raphinha, with a view to a possible move next summer.

The Blues had emissaries in attendance in Sporting CP’s 3-1 victory against Portimonense, where the 22-year-old Brazilian star caught the eye with a match-winning brace.

However, because of the ongoing transfer embargo still very much in effect, the Blues won’t be able to negotiate a potential deal for any player before the end of the 2019-20 term.

Chelsea are not the only club monitoring the tricky attacker, though, with the same report suggesting that EPL rivals Leicester City also had their delegations in attendance to keep a close eye on the talented forward.

Raphinha, who rose to prominence with Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes, completed a move to heavyweights Sporting Lisbon last year on the back of a 15-goal campaign in the Liga NOS.

However, he struggled to nail down a regular first-team spot at his new club in the previous season due to stiff competition for places and featured frequently as a rotational player, netting 4 goals in 16 league starts.

He did come up with a few standout displays last season, claiming two man-of-the-match awards in the process.

Interestingly, the South American has made a much more promising start to the new term, netting twice in three league outings for Sporting CP.

And his recent run of form apparently has not eluded the eyes of the Premier League teams, who are showing a fair bit of interest in the 22-year-old winger.