Raphinha, a Leeds player, has emerged as a key target for Barcelona as they plot their summer splurge.
The Spanish giants are looking to rebuild their team, and Raphinha is their top priority, especially if Ousmane Dembele did not renew his contract. Barcelona believes they have a trump card in their pursuit of the Brazil international because of their tight relationship with his agency, Deco. From his time as a Barcelona player, the Portuguese is still loved at the Nou Camp and interacts with the players on a daily basis. Barcelona has not made a formal contact to Leeds United, but the Elland Road club is aware of their interest.
They recognize the allure of Barcelona for any player, but they are determined that Raphinha will not be sold on the cheap. Barcelona is willing to pay roughly £33.5 million or 40 million euros for Raphinha in the hopes of luring him to the Nou Camp.
This price is nowhere near what Leeds would demand if they were to sell Raphinha grudgingly, and it is believed they would want nearly twice as much. Leeds think they have a good bargaining position, as Raphinha’s contract, which he signed for £17 million from Rennes in October 2020, has two years left on it.
In addition, there is no escape clause in the South American contract in the Premier League. Raphinha, 25, has been given better terms by Leeds to reflect his role as one of the club’s top talents, and director of football Victor Orta has met with Deco several times.
They want to give him a big raise so he can become one of their highest-paid athletes. Deco is said to desire a get-out option in any new arrangement, and the two parties disagree on the amount.
These talks have come to a halt, and Leeds do not expect to see any progress until they have secured their Premier League status for next season. Leeds have also had interest in Raphinha from a number of major clubs, with West Ham said to have made a bid in January, as well as Liverpool, Newcastle, and Manchester City.
Raphinha’s condition is unconcerned for Leeds because the Samba star is happy at Elland Road and is not looking for a new club this summer. After recuperating from the sickness that kept him out of the Wolves’ victory, he spent the international break working at Thorp Arch.
Raphinha also gets along well with new Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, who has expressed his wish to keep him for as long as possible. Raphinha is crucial to Leeds’ goal of establishing themselves in the Premier League’s top ten and making a European drive, according to Marsch.
“I haven’t spent any time with anyone talking about their long-term future, only about living in the now and what’s vital for every day,” Marsch stated when questioned about maintaining Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips. Those discussions can take place later, once we’ve established a few more details.
Those talks are more for the club, but I’m always willing to help, and of course, I’d like to keep people like Kalvin and Patrick Bamford, as well as Raphinha, as long as feasible.”