Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Raphinha ‘sets deadline’ on Barcelona transfer as Jesse Marsch edges closer to ‘dream’ Leeds signing

Raphinha, Leeds United's Brazilian winger, celebrates his penalty in the 2-1 win over Brentford

Raphinha has reportedly underlined his desire to leave Leeds United for Barcelona and has seemingly wants the transfer saga reaching a rapid conclusion.

The Brazilian superstar has emerged as Leeds’ best and most important player since their promotion. A £17m signing from Rennes, he scored six times and weighed in with nine assists in his debut season. His importance to the Leeds cause has increased this season, the Leeds No 10, scoring 11 times and weighing in with three assists.

That form has, understandably, seen him linked with a plethora of clubs all keen to snap up his services. However, it is Barcelona who are leading the chase, with president Joan Laporta making clear their admiration for Raphinha.

Indeed, with Raphinha seemingly intent on making the move, reports on Tuesday left open the possibility of a potential swap deal between Leeds and Barcelona.

Either way, Leeds will have a valuation in mind for their star player. Whether Barca can actually afford that price remains to be seen. However, Sky Sports are now reporting a formal offer from the Spaniards will arrive in the ‘coming days’.

That tallies with reports in Marca on Tuesday. They claim that Barca are sending director of football Mateu Alemany and his deputy Jordi Cruyff to England to discuss the transfer with Leeds.

Raphinha wants quick agreement with Barcelona

Now Spanish daily Sport have provided a further update on the move. They claim Raphinha has ‘set a deadline’ over the deal and wants an agreement reached by this Thursday, May 26. The winger is due to fly out to South Korea that day to link up with the Brazil squad for a friendly on June 2.

They also state Raphinha has already finalised personal terms with Barca on a five-year deal. As such, he now awaits Barcelona and Leeds to reach a transfer agreement that can allow the deal to go through.

If an agreement is reached between the two clubs, then the winger’s move could be announced some time in mid June.

After South Korea, Brazil play Japan (June 6) and Argentina (June 11). As such, the move is unlikely to be finalised before then.

Raphinha’s hopes over the deal have also been boosted. That’s amid our understanding that Leeds are keen on Sergino Dest, possibly as part of the deal.

Leeds closing on Brenden Aaronson signing

Leeds United, meanwhile, are closing on a signing of their own with a deal for Brenden Aaronson closing in.

The USA midfielder – who is not a replacement for Raphinha as some outlets suggest – will sign for Leeds in a £24m deal.

The transfer was agreed by Leeds back in January, but only rubberstamped once their safety was finalised.

Now Salzburger Nachrichten claims the transfer is agreed between the clubs and player. As such, the move will go through subject to a medical.

Leeds winger Raphinha agrees terms with Barcelona

Leeds United winger Raphinha agrees personal terms with Barcelona but deal between clubs is yet to be done

They state he will sign an initial three-year deal at Leeds, keeping him at Elland Road to 2025. And Aaronson has been described as an absolute ‘dream signing’ for Leeds boss Jesse Marsch.

Marsch worked with the player for several months, before the coach left Salzburg to join their sister club, RB Leipzig.

Aaronson will likely play as a No 8 for Leeds; the type of player the club has missed for some time. However, Marsch and Co will likely still look to sign a new winger as a replacement for Raphinha. To that end, Noa Lang remains a possible option.

However, Noel Whelan reckons Crysencio Summerville could be the main beneficiary and will be given a chance to prove his worth.