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Leeds star to ‘ignore’ other offers after reaching ‘agreement’ to make first transfer of its kind

Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha celebrate together

Raphinha has given his word to Barcelona over a summer transfer from Leeds United and will sign a five-year contract, according to reports in Spain.

Leeds are bracing themselves for the potential departure of their star winger in the summer. He has given them two seasons of services, contributing 15 goals and 12 assists from 59 appearances. The Brazilian has been a worthy wearer of the number 10 shirt at Elland Road.

But there has long been an awareness in West Yorkshire that Raphinha will not stick around forever. About to enter the final two years of his contract, it could be the prime opportunity for Leeds to cash in this summer.

Clubs with European football on offer have been sniffing around. There have been links with Liverpool, for example, which is backed up by Diario Sport.

However, the same source writes that Raphinha has found an “agreement” with Barcelona. After doing so, he is willing to wait and “ignore” other suitors.

On the table is a contract offer until 2027 and the lure of being a regular starter if Ousmane Dembele leaves, as expected, at the end of his own contract in June.

The report describes Raphinha and Barcelona as being “hand in hand” when it comes to their approach going forward. It will be up to the La Liga club to close a deal with Leeds.

Raphinha will retain his commitment to his current cause for the time being. After this season, though – by the end of which he will hope to have helped the Whites avoid relegation – it could be the end of a chapter.

Leeds to take Barcelona defender in return?

Sport remind that Barcelona have already had an opening offer of €35m (£29.1m) turned down by Leeds. They will come back in, and there is a possibility they will offer defender Oscar Mingueza as a makeweight (potentially just on loan).

Mingueza came through the Barcelona academy ranks and has made more than 50 appearances for the first team. The 22-year-old can play anywhere across the defence, but is mainly a centre-half.

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

Leeds would therefore have to look elsewhere for a direct Raphinha replacement, but being able to strengthen their backline in the process of selling their star man may sweeten the deal.

Besides, there are a couple of release clauses in Raphinha’s contract that may leave Leeds powerless. Transfer journalist Fabrizio Romano has tweeted that he can be taken from their grasp for €75m (£62.5m) if they stay up, or €25m (£20.8m) if they go down.

Therefore, Leeds have extra motivation to secure their Premier League status for the 2022-23 season and beyond.

They spent €18.6m (£16.7m) to sign Raphinha from Rennes in 2020. Given his form since, they will feel entitled to a substantial profit.

Raphinha could be one of five Barcelona signings

Raphinha transfer latest; Barcelona keen on Brazilian seen here during training at Thorp Arch

How far Barcelona are able to go remains to be seen, but they have cleared the necessary space on the wage bill to accommodate his arrival.

The Catalan club’s president Joan Laporta has publicly declared they are aiming to make four or five signings this summer.

He told Mundo Deportivo: “We are working from the sports management to incorporate four or five reinforcements that we think the team needs to be increasingly competitive.

“We will not carry out any operation that puts the institution at risk. It has been a maxim that we have followed since we became president again.”

Raphinha may turn out to be one of that clutch of signings. In fact, Diario Sport add four other names into contention alongside him.

They claim Barcelona have secured deals for Chelsea defenders Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen, plus AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie. Each of them will be moving on a free transfer, as could Ajax full-back Noussair Mazraoui.

Those shrewd operations would save them transfer funds for Raphinha. And although Liverpool or Bayern Munich could offer him a higher salary, it seems the 25-year-old has bought into Xavi’s project at Barcelona.

Therefore, this summer he could become the first player ever to move from Leeds to Barcelona. Somewhat resigned to that outcome, his current employers will just be hoping they get a decent sum for him.

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