Leeds United are fearing a cut-price departure for Raphinha this summer with Barcelona preparing separate offers for the Brazilian, according to a report.
The winger has been one of Leeds’ best performers in a season which could still end in relegation. The 25-year-old’s form may have dropped off in recent months. But his stats in only his second season in the top flight are impressive.
Raphinha has scored 10 goals and claimed three assists from 30 Premier League starts. And that has led to interest from Barcelona.
Now the Catalan giants are ready to accelerate that interest and preparing offers for the player.
The Daily Telegraph claims that Barca have “scheduled imminent talks over the Brazil forward” and they will not wait until the end of the Premier League season.
Of course, Leeds United are solely focused on survival under new boss Jesse Marsch. That looked assured after three wins under the American coach. But Burnley’s renaissance has plunged the Whites deep into relegation trouble.
Barcelona have made the former Rennes man one of their top summer targets. And with Leeds hovering around the bottom three the Catalan club are preparing a separate offer to put forward if Leeds go down.
The Whites have a valuation of around £50m in mind for Raphinha, who was a £17m acquisition in 2020.
Tricky Raphinha situation for Leeds
However, as per the report Raphinha has a release clause of around £25m in the event of relegation. And the LaLiga club are understood to be ready to go above that now to secure a move for the player.
It’s a tricky situation for Leeds. They may well have resigned themselves to his departure. But they will not want to negotiate while their season is alive.
And Raphinha himself suggested he was up for the end-of-season fight after the defeat to Manchester City. He wrote on Instagram: “Only those who don’t give up today will win tomorrow.”
Of course Leeds will also not want to lose him for half of what they value him at if they are relegated.
Director of football Victor Orta is also well aware of the good relationship that Raphinha’s agent Deco has at the Camp Nou.
Deco was a decorated player at Barca and has a good connections with the club. A deal would seem to be pretty straight forward, as long as a fee between the clubs can be agreed.
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