The Raphinha transfer to Barcelona may not be as cut and dried as appeared on Monday amid claims in Spain that Leeds United are still to accept the LaLiga side’s latest proposal.
The Brazil winger has been the subject of intense transfer speculation for several months. His brilliant form for Leeds all-but single-handedly kept the Whites in the Premier League last season. And his qualities on the international scene with Brazil have only served to get him attention from some of the world’s biggest clubs.
That chase has been led for the main part by Barcelona. The Leeds winger has long made it clear that playing at the Nou Camp is his No 1 choice. But Leeds agreeing a deal with the LaLiga side has been tubulent to say the least.
Indeed, Barcelona’s failure to meet Leeds’ £65m valuation has let in the likes of a number of Premier League suitors to make their move. Arsenal were the first to try their hand, though a lack of Champions League football soon ended their proposals.
That allowed Chelsea to steam into the lead as the Blues made a no-nonsense hefty offer to the Whites which was quickly accepted.
But despite the best efforts of Todd Boehly, Raphinha did not sign on the dotted line, instructing his agent Deco very specifically about Barcelona.
Chelsea’s approach appeared to have brought a new sense of urgency from the LaLiga outfit. Spurned also by an apparent ultimatum issued by Deco, Barcelona look to have got their act together.
Indeed, hopes were resurrected amid claims that talks between Leeds and Barcelona has reopened over the weekend. And it was reported on Monday morning that a deal has now been struck.
Barcelona offer lower than reported
Per multiple reports, Barcelona will now pay Leeds an initial £55m, with a further £8m made up in bonuses. That falls slightly lower than Chelsea’s offer, but one – in the circumstances – Leeds appeared happy to accept.
However, Catalonian paper Mundo Deportivo paints a very different picture and suggests the deal may not be as cut and dried as claimed. Under the headline ‘Raphinha, option still unfinished’, they claim Leeds are yet to respond to Barcelona’s latest offer.
Citing a source close to the player, they state the negotiations are far from nearing a conclusion. And the two clubs still remain unable to reach an agreement over the transfer fee.
Furthermore, Mundo Deportivo also makes some worrying claims about the exact nature of Barcelona’s offer. They state Barcelona’s offer is actually worth a total of £50.7m.
Clearly that is far lower than initially reported and leaves the transfer still in some doubt.
The article claims Barcelona’s latest proposal has been left in Leeds’ court. However, with the offer some way lower than what Chelsea are offering, it appears unlikely that, as it stands, it will be accepted.
Barcelona in danger of missing Raphinha transfer
As things stand, and despite dialogue once again reopening between the Leeds United and Barcelona, it is not looking good for Barcelona.
As much as he wants to join them, he must feel incredibly frustrated over the constant haggling.
Clearly they do want to secure the Raphinha transfer. That much has been made clear by president Joan Laporta. However, with Ousmane Dembele also signing a contract extension, there remains a question about just how badly they want Raphinha.
And with other targets like Robert Lewandowski and Jules Kounde on their agenda, they may struggle to bid higher.
It all means they now run the risk of missing out on the player altogether. There is only so long Raphinha will be willing to wait. He has already missed Leeds’ Australia tour, meaning he is missing the chance to gain match sharpness.
He also knows that by signing for Chelsea he may miss out on a Barcelona move altogether. And does the player take the opportunity to join the Blues, or wait it out longer in the hope Leeds and Barcelona reach an agreement?
Either way, the situation is incredibly frustrating for all concerned. And would it actually surprise anyone if Leeds pulled the plug on Barcelona altogether.
Leeds hope to use their Raphinha windfall to sign a new forward. Their top target is Charles De Ketelaere and, while he appears destined for Milan, the Whites have been sent a glimmer of hope by Brugges.
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