Raphinha has reportedly rejected a transfer offer from Liverpool, with Leeds subsequently unable to consider Takumi Minamino’s role in a deal.
The Brazilian is one of the hottest properties in the Premier League this summer following his rise at Elland Road. Talk of his future in fact ramped up as Leeds battled relegation from the top flight.
But despite offering Raphinha Premier League football again next season, the 25-year-old has hit heart set on Barca.
Indeed, he has reportedly agreed personal terms with the La Liga club.
But while Barca try to agree a deal for Raphinha – made more complicated by Leeds’ Premier League survival – other teams are trying to break the bond between the player and his dream club.
However, Raphinha has personally rejected the move to Anfield. He is instead prioritising the move to Camp Nou and is unwilling to consider any other offers.
The report further claims that the winger’s ‘great desire’ has become an ‘obsession’.
As such, Leeds have been unable to consider signing Minamino – at least as part of a deal for Raphinha to Liverpool. Having Minamino included in any deal is ‘to the liking of Leeds’, Sport adds. And Liverpool can offer more than Barcelona, who are still struggling financially.
Minamino will nevertheless be available amid his struggles for game time in Jurgen Klopp’s side. The Japan star starred for the Reds to help them claim a domestic cup double this season.
However, Liverpool accept that he could look for a new club. And the former RB Salzburg star’s connections with the Red Bull football stable are attractive to Leeds’ ex-RB Leipzig manager Jesse Marsch.
As for Raphinha’s future, he has publicly insisted that his future is in his agent’s hands as he looks towards the World Cup with Brazil.
Raphinha only focused on Brazil
“If I say that it doesn’t matter, I would be lying, knowing that there are less than six months left for the Cup, you have to be active in the clubs, that weighs on the decision, but I trust my potential,” he said.
“If it’s to stay or leave, I’ll do my best, look for my space and I’ll try to be well for the World Cup.
“I have a contract with Leeds until 2024, my future is in the hands of Deco and Leeds, I have my mind on the national team, on the game and also on my vacation, we need a vacation.
“I have a contract with Leeds and this issue is resolved by my manager, when something is right, he sends [it to] me.”
Leeds standing firm over transfer plans
Leeds are well aware that Raphinha could leave this summer and will ultimately not stand in his way.
However, following their Premier League survival, they can seal a deal on their terms.
Had the Whites dropped down to the Championship, they would have been in a much weaker negotiating position.
Raphinha and Minamino swap deal?
Leeds United’s Raphinha was expected to join Barcelona this summer but due to their financial issues, Liverpool could swoop in and take their man, with a player plus cash deal for Minamino on the table.
It seems as though Raphinha has his heart set on Barca and is only willing to consider them.
However, Leeds will surely be looking towards Minamino as a new arrival if their star winger does depart.