Raphinha 'wants Barcelona' ahead of Chelsea and Arsenal, claims Laporta
Raphinha, 25, is expected to leave Elland Road this transfer window after scoring 17 goals and assisting 13 in his two Premier League seasons at the Yorkshire club.
The 25-year-old was the subject of major interest from Arsenal, but that ultimately led to nothing before Chelsea swooped in and agreed a deal with Leeds.
A €70 million agreement has been reached between Chelsea and Leeds, but personal terms has proven to be a major stumbling block. Raphinha even informed his agent, former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Deco, to let the Blues know of his desire to go to La Liga and join Barcelona instead, according to Sport.
Chelsea had hoped to add Raphinha to their forward line, but have been forced to turn all their attention to finally completing a deal for Manchester City's Raheem Sterling following rejection from the Brazilian.
Instead, Barcelona are expected to complete a deal, but it remains to be seen whether they can finance a move for the former Rennes player. Given the Blaugrana's financial difficulties, they may not be able to make Chelsea's big for Raphinha, which could prove costly.
What has Laporta said?
Barcelona's president Laporta has revealed an update on their pursuit of the Leeds star and told the Spanish press: "We have communication and have spoken with Leeds... There are other clubs that want Raphinha and are making their proposals. He wants to come [to Barcelona]."
If Raphinha were to join Barcelona he would form part of an impressive forward line, with Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski, if Barcelona can finally secure a deal for the Poland international.
Ansu Fati and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are both still at the club, while negotiations are ongoing over renewing Ousmane Dembele's deal. Memphis Depay will be sold if they receive an offer of around €25m.