Raphinha’s appearance in this weekend’s dramatic 2-1 win over Norwich City was just his 56th appearance in a Leeds United shirt, however ever since his debut season in the Premier League the Brazilian has been linked with some of Europe’s elite.
At the start of this season Leeds’ star man was being linked to Liverpool, and in December it was strongly reported that Bayern Munich were holding an interest in the 25 year old, who arrived at Elland Road for just £17 million in October 2020, ahead of the January transfer window.
However, world renowned transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano has an update on Raphinha’s future; and once again it’s not good reading for Leeds United fans who wish to keep hold of their star player this summer.
Fabrizio claims that Barcelona are the latest European giant to show a strong interest in the Brazilian winger, as well as stating that Liverpool’s interest has not cooled, with both clubs seemingly keen to sign Raphinha at the end of the season.
Chelsea’s name was also mentioned in the post, which was published on the morning following the Norwich win, however because of their financial situation off the pitch it seems unlikely that Stamford Bridge will be a viable option – with Barcelona and Liverpool having the upper hand.
Fabrizio also mentions Deco, the former Chelsea and Portuguese international who is the agent of Raphinha, and how he has already had conversations with the hierarchy of Barcelona regarding the transfer – indicating that at this moment in time Barcelona are the front runners in Raphinha’s next potential destination.
Barcelona are interested in Raphinha alongside Premier League clubs, including Liverpool [Chelsea wanted him, now in stand-by]. Barça already discussed about Raphinha with Deco. 🇧🇷 #FCB
No talks yet with Leeds – as price depends on their PL future and potential buy out clauses. https://t.co/iof4IPzMdB
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 14, 2022
As Fabrizio also comments on, Raphinha’s price will depend on what league Leeds United are in next season. With nine games remaining in the Premier League for Leeds this campaign, the club currently sit just four points ahead of the relegation places – with Everton and Burnley, who both sit below Leeds in the table, also having games in hand.
If Leeds are relegated to the Championship come the end of the season, Raphinha’s price tag will be dramatically reduced – with some reports also claiming that a clause in his contract allows the player to be sold for a hugely reduced fee if Leeds don’t keep their top flight status.
However, if Leeds do avoid the drop then it is believed that no buy-out clause exists, giving Leeds an opportunity to weigh up the inevitable incoming bids from top clubs from around Europe and potentially cashing in on one of their prized assets.
Raphinha arrived from Ligue 1 side Rennes on Deadline Day of Leeds’ first summer transfer window after their return to the Premier League, and still has a further two years remaining on his initial four year contract.