The father of Leeds United winger Raphinha has confirmed that a move to Barcelona for his son is still a strong possibility this summer.
The Brazil international has quickly become the focus of the Whites’ potential summer transfer activity out of the club. While Leeds are targeting new signings after scraping Premier League survival, they could yet lose their star man.
Barcelona have had a long-term interest in Raphinha but wanted to wait to see if Leeds would stay in the Premier League.
Indeed, relegation for Leeds would have given Barca a cheaper run at the 25-year-old. However, the Premier League club’s top-flight security has given them more negotiating leverage.
Speaking to Sport, Raphinha’s father insisted that the winger feels “calm” about the situation.
“There are possibilities, but these possibilities involve three parties: the interested club, the current one and the player,” Raphael Belloli said.
“Raphinha is calm because he has a contract and all the options depend on him.
“What he knows is what has come out in the press, nothing more.”
Reports have claimed that Raphinha has reached an agreement with Barcelona over personal terms.
However, Barca need to offload France winger Ousmane Dembele to make room for Raphinha. Chelsea want Dembele, who is out of contract this summer and available as a free agent.
For now, though, Raphinha is focusing on his international duty.
He has earned a call-up for Tite’s side for matches against South Korea, Japan and Argentina.
Raphinha’s form for Leeds established himself in the Brazil squad since his move to Elland Road. He has scored 17 goals and assisted 12 others for Leeds.
Indeed, he netted on the final day of the Premier League season as Leeds stayed up at Burnley’s expense.
Leeds know Raphinha transfer terms
Leeds would love to keep Raphinha after his stunning impact since his move from Rennes.
However, the Brazil star has shown that he can take a step up in his career and the Elland Road club are aware of that.
They can barter with Barcelona all they like, but if the La Liga side come up with a sizeable offer, Leeds would be hard-pressed to turn it down.
Leeds turn down Barcelona bid for Raphinha
Leeds United have turned down £46m for Raphinha from Barcelona
A deal is likely to be worth at least €55million (£47million) for their star attacker, significantly more than if Leeds had dropped to the Championship.
Staying in the Premier League has given Leeds a stronger negotiating stance, but it is also up to the player if he sees Barca as a dream step up in his career.