Barcelona are preparing to ramp up their efforts to try and sign Leeds United winger Raphinha in the upcoming transfer window. The 25-year-old has emerged as a top priority for the Catalans as they look to replace contract rebel Ousmane Dembele.
And, SPORT is now reporting that Barcelona director Mateu Alemany is set to travel to Leeds in the upcoming week to negotiate the transfer of the Brazilian international with the Premier League club.
Raphinha has been on the radars of Barcelona for quite some time now and talks had been initiated between the two clubs by the forward’s agent Deco earlier this year. However, the Catalans decided to pause the negotiations as they awaited Leeds’ fate in the Premier League.
If the Whites were relegated from the Premier League, Raphinha would have been available for a fee of just €25 million. But, with Jesse Marsch’s men surviving the drop, they are demanding around €65 million for the 25-year-old’s services.
Furthermore, the report adds that Leeds United CEO Angus Kinnear was disappointed that Barcelona pressed pause on negotiations in between.
And now, Mateu Alemany is set to travel to Yorkshire to smooth things over with the Premier League club and arrive at an agreement over a transfer fee.
While Leeds United are demanding a transfer fee of €65 million Barça are in no position to meet that valuation. Even if the club successfully activate the ‘economic levers’ to improve their financial situation, the report adds that they do not intend to pay more than €40 million.
But there is the possibility of the Catalan giants including other players as part of the deal, with defender Oscar Mingueza emerging as one such possible option who is of interest to Leeds United.
The report also adds that Barcelona have had an agreement with the player since as early as March. Raphinha has his heart set on a move to Camp Nou and is prepared to snub offers from the Premier League, where Liverpool are interested.
However, the club’s financial situation makes the negotiations with Leeds United complicated, while they also need to shed some weight off their wage bill before they can sign the Brazilian.