Leeds and Barcelona reach agreement in principle for Raphinha transfer

Leeds United and FC Barcelona have reached an agreement in principle over the transfer of Raphinha that will see the Brazilian attacker move to Camp Nou this summer

The deal for the 25-year-old is reportedly worth an initial €58m (£49m) but could rise to more than €65m (£55m) with add-ons.

Leeds confirmed the news on their club website, saying: “We can confirm that an agreement in principle has been reached with FC Barcelona for the transfer of Raphinha. The player will now undergo a medical in Spain.”

Meanwhile, the statement on Barcelona’s official website read: “FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club have reached an early agreement for the transfer of Raphael Dias Belloli, Raphinha, pending the player’s medical examination.”

After joining Leeds from Rennes in 2020, Raphinha played in 65 Premier League games over the past two seasons, scoring 17 goals and providing 12 assists.

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He did not travel with the rest of the Whites squad on their tour to Australia with a departure from Elland Road having been expected this summer.

Chelsea were previously believed to be the front-runners for the Brazilian, while Arsenal had also been linked, but Barcelona moved ahead of both London clubs with a late bid and have now all but secured their man.

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch gave his blessing for Raphinha to depart

Before the agreement in principle was confirmed on Wednesday, Leeds boss Jesse Marsch had given the winger his blessing to deaprt during a press conference Down Under.

“I’m hopeful for him to get this deal done because I know it’s his dream to play for Barcelona,” Marsch explained.

“As much as it’s really hard to lose Raphinha I’ll say this. If you think about a young man that was pretty much guaranteed to go on a reduced transfer fee to Barcelona if we were relegated, and then you watch the performances he had to make sure the club was going to stay up, it would be hard for any 25-year-old to do that.”

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The money brought in by the sale of Raphinha, as well as the transfer of Kalvin Phillips to Manchester City for around £45m, should allow Marsch to reinvest and boost a squad that only narrowly avoided relegation from the Premier League on the final day.

They have already signed Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson, Darko Gyabi, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Luis Sinisterra this summer – with another forward presumably next on the agenda as Marsch looks to put his own stamp on the squad, having taken over from Marcelo Bielsa halfway through the season.

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