Raphinha is expected to put the finishing touches to his move to Barcelona in the coming days, with the end finally in sight over the long-running transfer saga.
The Brazilian’s two-year stint at Elland Road has been nothing short of exceptional. His efforts for the Whites almost single-handedly kept the club in the Premier League last season, with his 11 goals and three assists key to their survival. But his efforts brought with it plenty of acclaim; first of which came from Tite and the Brazil national side.
And his heroics for Leeds and elevation to fully-fledged Brazil regular has only served to whet Raphinha’s desire to play at the very top. To that end, his agent Deco has been charged with securing his client a move to Barcelona.
However, securing an agreement with Leeds has been far from easy. United have stood steadfastly to their £65m valuation of the player, giving financially-crippled Barcelona little room to play with.
Their refusal to meet Leeds’ asking price also opened the door for other suitors to step in. Arsenal’s lack of Champions League football soon saw their efforts batted off. But Chelsea – armed with exactly that and the cash to boot – quickly agreed a fee with Leeds.
That was for an initial £55m, with a further £10m made up in bonuses.
But despite the best efforts of new Blues owner Todd Boehly, Raphinha refused to commit. Instead, he instructed Deco to push Barcelona again to see if they could raise their bid. Indeed, a weekend ultimatum appeared to have done the trick with Barcelona re-opening talks with Leeds once again.
Raphinha to collect a bumper salary from Barcelona
Since then, a new offer has been submitted. And in a Twitter update on Tuesday evening, trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claims Leeds have now accepted the bid.
To that end, the journalist has given the long-running saga the ‘Here We Go’ seal of approval.
Writing for The Guardian, Romano states Barcelona’s bid entails a fixed fee of €58million (£49.1m). Bonuses and add-ons will reportedly take the fee to the €68m (£57.6m) mark.
With the deal now at the final stages, Raphinha will now travel to Cataloniain the coming days to finalise the switch.
Personal terms have long since been agreed with Raphinha ready to sign a five-year deal worth £101,000 (€120,000) a week. That will earn the 25-year-old a salary of £26.2m over its duration to summer 2027.
That is some distance less than the £120,000 a week Chelsea were reportedly willing to pay him.
However, the player was always steadfast on his desire to join Barca – and now it seems his wish is about to come true.
Star posts Instagram messages on ‘final day’ at Thorp Arch
With his (former) Leeds United teammates now Down Under in Australia for their summer tour, Raphinha has stayed behind at their Thorp Arch training base to work on his fitness.
And on what could be his final official day as a Leeds player, Raphinha uploaded five videos to his Instagram page of him going through his paces.
His videos are a mixture of running, passing and shooting drills. The caption on the posts reads: ‘And for the talkers on duty. A kiss, a hug and lots of work.’
The majority of the comments on the post predictably come from Barcelona supporters, with many expressing their satisfaction at his imminent arrival.
The winger will leave Leeds United with 17 goals and 12 assists from his 65 appearances. That’s a goal involvement every 2.2 appearances.
Leeds have already signed Luis Sinisterra as his replacement and the Colombian looks an astute signing.
The Whites now plan to sign a striker with profits from the Raphinha sale. Charles De Ketelaere remains their No 1 target. And while a move to Milan looks likely, Brugges have sent Leeds a message over their reported offer for the 21-year-old.
The article Raphinha posts message to fans as Fabrizio Romanio gives Barcelona transfer full green light with ‘Here We Go’ seal of approval appeared first on Teamtalk.com.