Barcelona will pursue Leeds star even if Dembele renews, Spanish winger could leave instead
A recent report from AS has offered an update on Barcelona’s pursuit of Raphinha. The Leeds United winger has emerged as one of the club’s top targets, with many considering him as an ideal replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who may leave the club at the end of the season.
The Frenchman’s current deal at Camp Nou expires at the end of the season. Although his return in form and an excellent relationship with Xavi have coaxed the player to tilt towards a contract extension, Barça would still need to cough up hefty wages for his services.
It has made Barcelona to step up their pursuit of Raphinha, with the report from AS suggesting that the club are ready to sacrifice up to three players as part of the operation.
Sergino Dest, Clement Lenglet and Óscar Mingueza are the three players who could be used as makeweights in the deal to sign Raphinha. Barcelona have no intention to pay the Brazilian international’s asking price of around €50 million.
Mingueza, in particular, is thought to be a key target for Leeds, with Barcelona hoping to sanction a potential loan deal to Elland Road.
The club’s desire to offload Lenglet is hardly surprising either. While Dest does hold a higher status in the team, his departure could make sense in light of the club’s likely capture of Ajax’s defensive sensation Noussair Mazraoui.
The report further suggests Barcelona’s pursuit of Raphinha is not directly connected to Dembele’s future. It appears the club consider the Leeds United star as a separate entity, who is expected to compete with the Frenchman, should both team up at Barça next season.
Instead, if Raphinha arrives and Dembele renews his contract, Adama Traore could end up on the chopping blocks in the summer. The on-loan Wolves ace has made a promising start to his second stint at Camp Nou since arriving in January.
But should Barça also sign the Leeds star, he would become surplus to requirements and could return to his parent club. Tottenham Hotspur are already eyeing a summer swoop for Adama, having missed out on his services in January.
The Blaugrana have the option of signing the Spanish international permanently for a fee of €24 million, which they do not intend to trigger. Instead, the Catalans will look to negotiate a swap deal involving Francisco Trincao.
If Wolves do not accept that proposal, his continuity at Camp Nou would already be difficult. And in case the Catalan giants end up signing Raphinha, it would certainly spell the end of Adama’s time in Barcelona.