Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Raphinha transfer gains momentum as player submits exit request and Leeds ‘not ruling out’ Barcelona swap deal

Raphinha, Leeds winger celebrates Premier League survival, following win at Brentford

Barcelona will this week accelerate their plans to secure the Raphinha transfer from Leeds United – and reports claim a player-exchange deal is not being ruled out.

The Brazilian superstar is the toast of Leeds after playing a leading role in their Premier League survival. He was named Man of the Match after winning and converting a penalty during Sunday’s 2-1 win at Brentford. That victory – coupled with Burnley’s home defeat to Newcastle – ensured Leeds avoided relegation on a dramatic final day.

As such, Leeds United plans for the new season are already underway. Boss Jesse Marsch is to hold talks with director of football Victor Orta this week to plan their summer approach.

And it seems like their first deal of the summer is closing in with a ‘total agreement’ reached for Brenden Aaaronson.

However, despite their survival, Leeds are likely to face a fight to retain the services of their star men. To that end, more details have emerged on an imminent Manchester City approach for Kalvin Phillips.

And Leeds also face a battle to keep Raphinha, with the winger reportedly having his heart set on a move to Catalonia.

Those rumours intensified quickly following Sunday’s celebrations. As such, reports on Monday claimed Leeds have now rejected a club-record bid from Barcelona for the 25-year-old.

However, there remains some confusion in the Spanish media over Raphinha’s price and what it would take to prise him from Leeds.

With Leeds now safe in the Premier League, talk of his relegation exit clause has been put to bed. That would reportedly have seen him move for a fee as low as £25m.

Operations continue for Raphinha transfer

Leeds, though, now can effectively control the market to their own satisfaction. Minus a transfer clause, the Whites are free to negotiate the best possible price for their star.

In an effort to grease the transfer wheels, Monday’s edition of Sport claims Raphinha has submitted a transfer request to Leeds.

Barcelona, however, remain in some financial difficulty and finalising a deal may not be easy.

Marca are also adamant Barcelona will pursue his signing, despite their push to also sign Robert Lewandowski.

Indeed, they claim the ‘operation continues’ to bring Raphinha to the Nou Camp.

Furthermore, Barcelona sources have reportedly informed the newspaper that Raphinha ‘will arrive at the Nou Camp this summer’. As such, they believe Barca will ‘accelerate negotiations’ to reach an agreement.

They repeat earlier claims that Raphinha has already agreed personal terms over the transfer.

The report concludes that Marsch’s side will ‘no longer be outright ruling out’ a potential swap deal to lubricate the transfer.

They claim the talks will ‘gain momentum with new contacts and meetings’ this week. The Barcelona negotiations are being led by their director of football Mateu Alemany and his deputy Jordi Cruyff.

Swap deal is the only way Barcelona can afford transfer

Barcelona usually get their way when it comes to transfers. And with Raphinha seemingly making it clear he wants to make the move, Leeds will probably not stand in his way, given their status in the game.

Indeed, the Brazilian is a player who very much deserves to play at the highest level, including the Champions League.

And he has the talents to be an enormous success and real crowd pleaser for Barcelona.

Leeds turn down Barcelona bid for Raphinha

Leeds United have turned down £46m for Raphinha from Barcelona

However, the deal simply has to be right for Leeds United. Quite rightly, a player of his standing must surely command a transfer fee of at least £50m.

As such, it seems that a swap deal looks the best way forward for Barcelona.

Despite the report refusing to identify possible targets, Leeds are reportedly considering midfielder Riqui Puig.

Meanwhile, our exclusive in March also made clear Leeds’ interest in signing USA star Sergino Dest.