A transfer fee that will raise Leeds Utd fans’ eyebrows has been cited in a report that revealed Barcelona are chasing their most prized asset.
Leeds Utd have thus far been unable to match last season’s heroics in their opening six matches. The Whites remain winless in the league after suffering late heartbreak against West Ham on Saturday.
One player who has been a bright spark among the gloom is Raphinha. The Brazilian winger became the club’s main attacking outlet last year after his £17m arrival from Rennes.
The 24-year-old has notched three times this season and was virtually unplayable at times against the Hammers.
His rapid rise has seen him rewarded with a place in Brazil’s national team. Though due to Covid-19 restrictions, he did not travel to join up with their squad in the last international break.
Liverpool have frequently been touted as an admirer, though per Leeds Live, they are no longer alone.
Citing Spanish outlet Fichajes, it’s revealed Barcelona are ‘targeting’ the flyer labelled the ‘jewel of the Premier League’. A broad figure of between £25m-£50m is cited as being required to trigger a deal.
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Leeds Utd fans would argue with some justification that even £50m would be selling on the cheap. Indeed, Leeds Live suggest Marcelo Bielsa’s side would be extremely reluctant to sanction Raphinha’s exit.
In further good news for Leeds, a recent report has cast doubt on Barcelona’s ability to make major transfer splashes given their woeful financial position.
Per the Express, the La Liga giant wish to capitalise on Edinson Cavani’s reduced role at Old Trafford. Cristiano Ronaldo’s return has shunted the Uruguayan down the pecking order, opening the door to a potential exit.
But that report stated Barcelona could only pull off the coup in a loan capacity. Even then, it was reported they would require a significant portion of Cavani’s wages to be subsidised.
As such, it would seem any interest Barcelona have in Raphinha is unlikely to result in a firm bid for the time being.
Revealed: What Bielsa screamed at Leeds Utd debutant
Meanwhile, Leeds Utd’s late defeat to West Ham at the weekend may have hurt their supporters badly – but the match will live long in the memory for Premier League debutant Charlie Cresswell.
Starting alongside captain Liam Cooper, the 19-year-old handled himself very well. He also gave one of the Premier League’s most in-form strikers in Michail Antonio a run for his money throughout.
However, it was Antonio who had the last laugh, latching on to a Declan Rice pass, tapping past Jamie Shackleton and then firing past Illan Meslier. It was a brutal defeat for Leeds, who, despite their injury issues, had taken the game to the Irons and led 1-0 at half-time.
The result was especially harsh for Cresswell. Furthermore, Marcelo Bielsa could be heard screaming at after West Ham’s 90th-minute winner went in.
However, rather than berating the teenage defender, The Athletic’s Phil Hay claims he was instead urging his defender to use his considerable frame to try and find an equaliser.
‘As the minutes of stoppage time counted down, Bielsa and the coaches around him began gesticulating at defender Charlie Cresswell,’ Hay wrote.
‘”Go forward”, they urged him. “Abandon the defence and get into the West Ham United box. Find a goal from somewhere.”‘