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The long-running Raphinha transfer saga looks likely to soon reach a climax amid reports that his future will be decided in the next 48 hours.
The Brazil winger has lit up Elland Road since his £17m move to Elland Road in October 2020. In his 65 games for Leeds, Raphinha has 17 goals and 12 assists – a goal involvement every 2.2 matches. As such, it’s little wonder to see speculation over his future take up plenty of column inches this summer.
However, amid the ongoing speculation, Raphinha’s desire to move to Barcelona has always been evident from the off. With the aid of his agent Deco, the two men have made it their agenda to secure the 25-year-old’s transfer to the Nou Camp.
Sealing the deal, though, has been far from easy. Leeds have stuck vehemently to their £65m valuation over the player. And coupled with Barcelona’s crippling debts, reaching an agreement has been far from easy.
Indeed, that hesitation has allowed Premier League suitors to show their hand in the transfer race. And while Arsenal’s efforts were quickly swatted aside, Chelsea acted swiftly to quickly agree a deal that met Leeds’ expecatations.
Despite Todd Boehly’s best efforts, however, Raphinha has refused to commit to Chelsea. And his delay has been purely ‘blamed’ on that sole desire to sign for Barcelona.
To that end, Raphinha and Deco are still to give them a firm answer.
The saga appeared to be drawing to a conclusion on Friday amid reports Barca have now matched Chelsea’s valuation. And while the base payment is lower than Chelsea’s, the total package matches that of the Blues’.
Deco issues ultimatum
Still, though, an agreement is yet to be reached, with Leeds determined to secure as much of the fee as possible up front.
With the saga continuing to drag out, Goal Brasil claims Deco has now taken some drastic action. They report that he has given Barcelona a 48-hour ultimatum to reach an agreement with Leeds. And failure to achieve that would see them re-open talks with Chelsea over a move to Stamford Bridge.
To that end, Fabrizio Romano claims Leeds have rejected Barca’s most recent offering and plan to hold out for a better deal.
As per Sport, however, the threat appears to have had a desire effect. With Leeds now wanting a quick resolution to the saga too, they claim the two clubs are closing on an agreement.
And they state Raphinha is ‘expected to arrive’ at Barcelona on Monday to ‘finalise’ the long-awaited transfer.
The Whites have left Raphinha behind to train alone at Thorp Arch, with their squad flying out to the Gold Coast on Sunday for their tour of Australia.
Leeds need Raphinha transfer finalisation
The saga needs ending for everyone’s benefit. From a Leeds United point of view, they, as a club, have already moved on. Indeed, they have already brought in his replacement in the form of Colombia winger Luis Sinisterra.
The former Feyenoord man plays off the opposite flank, but, much like Raphinha, is full of goals and trickery. His signing means Jack Harrison may have to switch flanks, while Daniel James can also play there too.
Leeds, though, have refused to buckle to Barcelona and their pursuit. Playing the long game appears to have paid dividends for Leeds, with the Chelsea interest also helping their cause.
However, despite the desperation to see the saga brought to a close, Leeds cannot afford to give in now. They still need to get as big a downpayment as possible from Barcelona for their star man. The LaLiga giants’ financial issues are well documented – so they are right to stand their ground.
But if an agreement is close, it will be to everyone’s benefit. And if Barcelona don’t come good, Leeds – and Raphinha – may yet opt for Chelsea. Either way, the saga looks set to come to finally come to a head this week.
Meanwhile, Leeds United are nearing signing No 7 in Sonny Perkins – and an eighth is also on the horizon too.
The article Raphinha transfer: Deco’s Chelsea ultimatum bears fruit with Leeds man to seal huge switch in next 48 hours appeared first on Teamtalk.com.