Leeds United have confirmed Raphinha will not travel with the first team squad to take part in their tour of Australia, amid ongoing transfer talks with Barcelona.
The winger is pushing for a Barcelona move this summer, despite Leeds agreeing a deal with Chelsea for him. The Whites were willing to sell to Thomas Tuchel’s side, only for Raphinha to reject the transfer.
His priority is Barcelona and they have since matched Chelsea’s bid, as per CBS Sports journalist Ben Jacobs.
However, the Spanish club are offering less as part of their initial downpayment. Instead, a larger chunk of the deal will be made up in instalments and add-ons.
Leeds are aware of Raphinha’s burning desire to play for Barca and are now likely to sell to them.
Jesse Marsch has chosen his 26-man squad to tour Australia in pre-season, but Raphinha will not play a part.
According to Fabrizio Romano, the wide man will continue to train in England as Leeds and Barca look to reach an agreement.
Luis Sinisterra appears set to take Raphinha’s place in pre-season and once the 2022-23 campaign gets underway.
Sinisterra to become Raphinha successor at Elland Road
Leeds spent £21m to sign the Colombia attacker from Feyenoord. He has the ability to play on either flank and should get Leeds fans up off their seats.
Here is the full 26-man squad for Leeds’ pre-season tour, which leaves Raphinha out:
Goalkeepers – Harry Christy, Kristoffer Klaesson, Illan Meslier
Defenders – Liam Cooper, Leif Davis, Cody Drameh, Leo Hjelde, Robin Koch, Rasmus Kristensen, Diego Llorente, Pascal Struijk
Midfielders – Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams, Adam Forshaw, Archie Gray, Darko Gyabi, Mateusz Klich, Marc Roca
Forwards – Patrick Bamford, Joe Gelhardt, Sam Greenwood, Jack Harrison, Daniel James, Rodrigo, Luis Sinisterra, Crysencio Summerville
With Raphinha’s exit finally getting closer, Leeds will need the likes of Sinisterra and Aaronson to step up and replace some of his goals. But the new arrivals have good pedigree and should thrive off this challenge.
Meanwhile, AC Milan are reportedly preparing to make an official bid for a top Leeds target.
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