Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Arsenal learn rapid Raphinha answer as Deco stance gives Leeds a grain of hope amid Barcelona chase

Raphinha of Leeds United and Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London

Arsenal have seemingly been given a very quick no by Raphinha and his agent Deco with the pair holding out for just one transfer in Barcelona only.

The Brazilian winger finds himself a man in demand after an excellent season for Leeds. Having arrived from Rennes for just £17m in October 2020, he quickly established himself as a big player under Marcelo Bielsa. Indeed, Raphinha scored six goals and added nine assists for the Whites in his debut season.

But his increased importance in Leeds’ struggles during 2021/22 only further served to underline his quality. Indeed, but for his 11 goals and three assists, Leeds would, almost certainly, have gone down.

Jesse Marsch’s side, though, now finds themselves a difficult battle in retaining his services. With two years left on his deal, the player appears unlikely to sign an extension.

And Barcelona have made very clear their intentions of bringing the player to the Nou Camp this summer. Their chase has been going on for some months now. Furthermore, Raphinha himself is reportedly making clear his desire to move there.

They are not the only side keen, however. Indeed, the likes of Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Chelsea have all been mentioned as suitors at various times.

And then last week, the name of Arsenal was thrown into the mix with the Gunners seeking an upgrade for Nicolas Pepe.

However, talk of a move to Arsenal has very quickly been rebuffed, according to Sport. The Spanish paper claims Raphinha and his agent Deco are ‘stopping each and every offer’ from other clubs as they hold out for Barcelona.

In the player’s mind, it is Barcelona or nothing as far as a transfer goes.

Raphinha stance gives Leeds a grain of hope

Of course, Barcelona will continue to pursue Raphinha and there remains a strong chance the player will get the move he craves.

However, Leeds United are, quite rightly, standing by their asking price. That is believed to be a minimum £50m, with Leeds reportedly believing they can achieve a fee nearer the £60m mark. As such, Barcelona have been told that a cut-price deal simply cannot happen.

But with finances still tight at Barcelona, they will need to sell before they can buy.

As per Sport, Barcelona want to move Neto, Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza, Samuel Umtiti, Riqui Puig and Martin Braithwaite on this summer.

However, it is the sale of Frenkie de Jong which will potentially open the door for their signing of Raphinha.

The Dutch midfielder looks likely to be sacrificed in a £60m+ transfer to Manchester United that will grant Barca more financial manoeuvrability.

As a result, his sale will likely open the door for Barca to make an increased offer to Leeds.

They will try and haggle their outlay down by offering Leeds their pick of some unwanted stars as a makeweight.

Leeds United given massive Raphinha boost by Barcelona

Leeds United have hope of keeping Raphinha this summer as Barcelona turn attention to Di Maria

However, we understand Leeds will likely reject all such offers. As a result, Leeds are seemingly holding out for a straight cash sale only.

Barca will then try and heavily incentivise his transfer with a lesser downpayment. That will include the offer of bonuses and add-ons to enhance his transfer value.

Should they fail to reach an agreement, there could yet be a scenario whereby Raphinha stays with Leeds for now.

With Raphinha focused on Barcelona only, the Brazilian will only play for them, or Leeds, next season.

And as things stand, the player is due to report back to Thorp Arch for pre-season training in early July.