In a big development, SPORT reports that Barcelona and Leeds United have entered the final stages of negotiations for the transfer of Raphinha this summer.
The 25-year-old Brazilian has been one of Barcelona’s top transfer targets this summer. The Blaugrana have agreed personal terms with him well in advance, almost four months ago.
However, they looked set to miss out on the winger after Chelsea had a bid accepted for him earlier this month. But Raphinha stalled on negotiations with the Blues as he had his heart set on a move to Camp Nou.
While Barça submitted fresh offers for Raphinha, they had been unable to table the same proposal as Chelsea, leading to Leeds United issuing an ultimatum to the Catalans.
But, on Friday reports emerged that Barcelona had decided to match Chelsea’s proposal for Raphinha. And it is now claimed that negotiations between the Blaugrana and the Whites have entered the final stages and an agreement could be imminent.
It is even claimed that Raphinha could arrive in Barcelona as early as the coming Monday to finalise the transfer. The Brazilian international is expected to sign a five-year contract with the Catalans until the summer of 2027.
The report from SPORT further indicates that Barça will be paying a fixed transfer fee of €55 million, with the rest of the payment in add-ons and variables.
It is considerably lower than what Chelsea had been offering, but Raphinha’s insistence to join the La Liga club over any other team has pushed Leeds into accepting the offer.
The Whites’ boss, Jesse Marsch, earlier indicated that Raphinha might not be a part of their pre-season tour to Australia.
And, a transfer to Barcelona could be imminent after the Catalans faced the threat of missing out on the winger. The deal is expected to be independent of the contract situation surrounding Ousmane Dembele, who has become a free agent.