EXCLUSIVE: Barcelona €55m Raphinha offer REJECTED by Leeds United
FootballTransfers reported as far back as February that the player's agent, Deco, had been in conversations with both Barcelona and Chelsea over a transfer.
With the Roman Abramovich situation making any business for Chelsea extremely difficult, Barcelona have emerged as the front-runners to secure Raphinha, who is contracted until 2024 and who we value at €44m.
Raphinha already has a total agreement with Barcelona in terms of personal terms.
The Brazilian wants to move to Camp Nou and they are his preferred destination, even if any other clubs enter the race.
The 25-year-old has two release clauses in his Leeds contract for buying clubs.
He currently has a minimum fee release clause of €75m, which means that Leeds cannot stop any club who bids that amount.
However, if Leeds had been relegated to the Championship, his release clause fee would have dropped to €25m.
Barcelona were keen to wait and see what happened with Leeds' Premier League status, in the hope they could sign him for the lesser amount.
However Raphinha was instrumental in Leeds' final day escape act, winning and then converting the penalty which sent his team on their way to a 2-1 win at Brentford to clinch survival.
This is an incredible picture - more like a painting than a photo. Anyone knows who took the original and I’ll credit pic.twitter.com/L7fSkk0Lpr— Martyn Ziegler (@martynziegler) May 22, 2022
FootballTransfers understands that on May 14 Barcelona made a €55m offer that would stand on the assumption Leeds stayed up and a relegation release clause would not be activated.
Leeds have firmly rejected the offer, though are expecting Barcelona to return with another bid for the Brazil international, as the La Liga side look to reshape their attack for next season.
Leeds, meanwhile, will require an extensive squad rebuild next season to ensure that they do not face another relegation battle under Jesse Marsch, and may look to sell the winger with a view to building a fund to invest in the team.