The lowdown: Out on a high?
The 25-year-old joined in the jubilant celebrations amongst the Whites’ faithful as Leeds salvaged their Premier League status with a 2-1 final day victory over Brentford on Sunday.
Raphinha opened the scoring from the penalty spot to take his own personal tally to 29 direct goal contributions in 67 outings since arriving in Yorkshire from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in October 2020.
However, having already attracted previous attention from Liverpool, it appears that another of Europe’s big hitters could be set to swoop for the Brazilian this summer…
The latest: Transfer request
It’s claimed that the seven-cap Brazil international is ‘pushing’ for a move to the Camp Nou, having helped Jesse Marsch’s side to retain top-flight status.
The report claimed that the proposed move has already ‘taken a step forward’, with the man who was hailed by journalist Joe Prince-Wright for a ‘sensational’ performance in a 3-2 against West Ham earlier this year seeking to ‘clarify the negotiating scenario’ over the coming days.
The verdict: Hard to stop
Ultimately, despite securing Premier League football for 2022/23, it seems inevitable that Leeds will struggle to fend off interest from the likes of Barcelona in their star forward.
Raphinha ended the campaign with 11 goals and three assists in 36 league appearances, earning a 6.97 Sofascore rating whilst completing 1.8 successful dribbles per game, highlighting a continued top-class level of output as others struggled at Elland Road.
How many signings do Leeds need to make this summer?
Holding a perceived market value of £40.5m and under contract until 2024 (Transfermarkt), avoiding relegation does at least mean that Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani can demand the maximum fee for the Brazilian star, who could reportedly have been acquired for just £25m had Leeds dropped to the Championship.
In other news, Leeds are eyeing up a second signing after Aaronson. Find out who it is here
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