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Ronaldinho launches Raphinha charm offensive, advising dream Leeds exit to unlock best traits

Raphinha in purple Leeds third kit during Premier League clash v Brighton

Barcelona icon Ronaldinho has urged Leeds United star and fellow Brazilian Raphinha to make the move to Camp Nou, amid interest from the La Liga giants.

Raphinha has risen to become one of the star men at Elland Road and attention is subsequently turning to his potential next step. He is still Leeds’ top scorer in all competitions with nine goals.

However, there is a growing sense of what he could achieve at a club higher up in the Premier League or elsewhere in Europe.

Leeds are trying to tie Raphinha to a new deal, amid Barcelona interest in signing the 25-year-old.

The Blaugrana are reportedly considering part-exchanges with some of their players to try and tempt Raphinha and Leeds. Those proposals have not had much effect so far.

Speaking to Radio Marca, former Barcelona attacker Ronaldinho backed his fellow countryman to move to Camp Nou.

“I would very much like him to come, he has a lot of quality,” the 42-year-old said.

“He would fit in very well with Spanish football due to his playing characteristics.”

Ronaldinho made his name at Barcelona and in fact won the Ballon d’Or during his time with the La Liga club.

Raphinha agrees terms with Barcelona as Leeds exit likely

Raphinha agrees terms with Barcelona as Leeds exit likely

Raphinha is set to leave Leeds United for Barcelona this summer and has agreed terms with the La Liga side

Raphinha, meanwhile, is still early in his career and has recently become a fully-fledged Brazil international.

His current contract runs out in 2024 and Leeds director of football Victor Orta recently cleared up speculation over the winger’s potential release clause.

Orta revealed that Raphinha “does not have a release clause if Leeds stay in the Premier League.”

However, he did not rule out a set exit fee if Leeds drop out of the top flight.

Raphinha helping Leeds survival charge

 

While that looked a distinct possibility a few weeks ago, manager Jesse Marsch has got Leeds back on track.

The Whites have claimed seven points from nine matches, including dramatic late wins over Norwich and Wolves.

Raphinha missed the trip to Wolves, but he returned to play 90 minutes in Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.

And that result pushed Leeds eight points clear of the relegation zone. What’s more, they play 18th-placed Watford on Saturday. A win in that match will push them another big step closer to safety.

Raphinha has not scored since he netted against Manchester United in February, but he will be looking to finish the summer on a strong note ahead of a potentially decisive transfer window.