Raphinha has seemingly seen his hopes of a move to Barcelona finally collapse amid claims the LaLiga giants are ready to bring their chase to an end.
The Brazilian winger has found himself the subject of intensive speculation this summer. After helping the Whites claim Premier League survival, it seems his appearance in the win at Brentford will be his last in a Leeds shirt. Indeed, speculation over his future has ramped up ever since the final whistle blew and their safety was confirmed.
It’s not hard to see why Raphinha is a man in demand. The 11 goals and three assists he managed for Leeds in 2021/22 effectively ensured their survival single-handedly. He also claimed six goals and nine assists in his debut season at Leeds, making a mockery of his bargain £17m fee.
And Raphinha has since become a regular for Brazil; the winger looking good to be one of the stars of the 2022 World Cup.
The chase for his signature has been led by Barcelona. They have made no secret of their desire to bring him to the Nou Camp, with Xavi a confirmed fan.
Furthermore, the player has also reportedly made clear, via his agent Deco, that a move to the Nou Camp is his No 1 preference.
However, Barcelona’s inability to meet Leeds’ minimum £42.9m asking price for the winger continues to cause issues.
Ousmane Dembele has change of heart
Leeds have seemingly made it clear they will not accept any Barcelona makeweights as part of the deal. And with finances tight at the LaLiga giants, they will seemingly have to sell before they can buy.
That picture should become clearer for them if they can secure the sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United.
Their interest in Raphinha comes as a result of the need to replace Ousmane Dembele.
The France winger enjoyed a solid end to the season, finally finding some form under Xavi’s leadership. But with his deal expiring, the former Dortmund man was seemingly heading to Chelsea on a free transfer.
That move though appears to have stalled. And now, as per The Sun, the winger has had a change of heart and now wants to stay.
As such, Barcelona are now looking to tie the winger down to a new deal, which will simultaneously bring an end to their Raphinha chase.
That will come as a blow to Raphinha, with the prospect of staying at Leeds now looking increasingly possible.
Leeds drive up price of Raphinha
With Barcelona now seemingly out of the equation, the prospect of an inter-Premier League move will now come into focus for Raphinha.
Interest in him remains strong, with Arsenal leading the chase and seeing an opening, albeit lowly, opening offer rejected.
Tottenham are also reportedly lurking in the background, seemingly ready to offer Leeds closer to their asking price.
Chelsea, too, are also seemingly in the mix, though their focus looks to be on Raheem Sterling right now.
And Thursday’s Transfer Gossip opens up the possibility of a move to West Ham, should they meet two demands.
However, Fabrizio Romano claims Leeds are now raising their asking price for Raphinha in the wake of Premier League interest.
Leeds United given massive Raphinha boost by Barcelona
Leeds United have hope of keeping Raphinha this summer as Barcelona turn attention to Di Maria
He says the Whites are now demanding a fee closer to £65m, wary of how a move to a Premier League rival might go down with fans.
Given the prices Manchester City paid for Riyah Mahrez and Jack Grealish, their demands don’t seem too extraordinary.
However, whether any suitor manages to meet that asking price remains to be seen.