A Raphinha transfer to Barcelona continues to dominate the headlines in Spain – but a report claims the LaLiga giants might not have it all their own way when it comes to negotiating a fee.
The Brazilian superstar has emerged as Leeds’ leading light since their return to the Premier League. At times this season, he has carried the Whites’ survival hopes almost single-handedly. Indeed, in the lengthy absence of Patrick Bamford, Raphinha has become Leeds’ main goalscoring threat.
And while his form has noticeably dropped off in recent weeks, his nine goals and three assists this season illustrate his importance.
As such, Leeds have been in talks with his agent over extending his stay at Elland Road. His contract in West Yorkshire is currently due to expire in 2024; understandably Leeds want to over him longer terms and on much better pay.
Despite a positive relationship with his agent Deco, there is yet to be an agreement reached. Indeed, various reports claims Deco wants Leeds to agree to some sort of exit clause in any new deal; something Leeds chiefs appear to be against.
Given his importance to Leeds, it’s little surprise to see a hoard of other clubs casting envious eyes in Leeds’ direction.
Bayern Munich were strongly linked ahead of the January window, while Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United have all been linked.
However, the strongest rumours in recent weeks have come from Barcelona. To that end, a report on Tuesday claimed Barcelona have already agreed personal terms with the 25-year-old. Furthermore, Sport claims he is Xavi’s No 1 choice to replace Ousmane Dembele in their attack.
In addition, Sport‘s report claimed Barcelona have lodged an opening £29.1m offer for the winger with Leeds. And while Leeds are yet to respond, they are widely expected to reject it.
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
Furthermore, another paper, AS, claims Raphinha’s exit clause stands at the £66.5m mark. As such, that is the fee Barcelona will likely need to pay to prise him from Leeds.
Amid all the confusion, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has tried to clear up the confusion. He confirms ‘Barcelona have been working on a summer deal for Raphinha for weeks’. He also claims the player is ‘happy to make the move’ with his agent Deco ‘close to [Barcelona president, Joan] Laporta’.
No Raphinha transfer exit clause
However, with the club staying silent, the latest offering comes from the Yorkshire Evening Post.
They state that a £29.1m offer would be nowhere near enough to prise Raphinha away. Furthermore, Graham Smyth writes that no official bid has yet come in from Barcelona.
In addition, and perhaps key, he confirms that there is currently no buy-out clause in the Brazilian’s current deal.
“Barcelona have been linked with a £29m move for the Brazil winger but the YEP understands that there is no buy-out clause in his current contract, which runs until 2024, and it would take significantly more than that to prise him out of Elland Road,” Smyth writes.
“It has not been confirmed if the contract has a relegation clause but in the eventuality that the Whites – currently seven points clear of the drop zone – fell back into the Championship then he is one of a number who would certainly need to depart to help balance the books.
“Leeds are well aware of the Spanish club’s interest but are yet to receive any form of official bid.”
That means a Raphinha transfer to Barcelona, at this stage, is not seemingly as close as made out.
And while Leeds will face a fight to retain the services of their star man, he certainly won’t be leaving for a fee anywhere near as low as £29.1m.