The lowdown: Hot property
Having previously been heavily linked with a move to Liverpool and West Ham United, the 25-year-old is once again expected to be much sought-after in the transfer market.
Barcelona have recently emerged as the main contenders to sign the Brazil winger, and a big-money offer has been mooted for some time now.
Despite just avoiding relegation from the Premier League on the final day of the season, with Raphinha himself on the scoresheet before joining in the post-match celebrations, it seems as though the writing could be on the wall for his time at Leeds…
The latest: Sky Sports drop Raphinha news
Speaking live on Sky Sports, it was reported that Barcelona are set to make their interest ‘formal’ very soon.
Presenter Hayley McQueen said on air: “Barcelona are expected to make formal their interest in Leeds United forward Raphinha in the coming days. He’s actually got two years left still on his contract, he’s not expected to sign a new deal.
“One source has told us at Sky Sports News that he would like to join Barcelona. Here’s the link, he’s represented by Deco, friend and former team-mate of Barcelona boss Xavi.
“West Ham were also one of a number of Premier League clubs who tried to sign Raphinha in the last transfer window. He stayed at Leeds, they have stayed in the Premier League but they might not be able to keep hold of him.”
The verdict: Mega offer needed
Having retained their top-flight status, the onus is now on Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta to ensure that any summer departures recoup the maximum value in the market so that Jesse Marsch can adequately replenish the playing ranks.
In an ideal world, the likes of Raphinha would remain with the Whites and look to spearhead a wholly different campaign in 2022/23, but it already appears as though that ship might have sailed after another stellar season in which he directly contributed to 14 goals in 36 league outings.
How many signings do Leeds need to make this summer?
Instead, it may already be on the club’s mind to concentrate on extracting every possible penny from any deal for the £40.5m-valued ace and immediately adding the funds to Marsch’s transfer budget in order to avoid a repeat of their brush with relegation from this season.
In other news, Leeds are eyeing up a second signing after Aaronson. Find out who it is here
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