Burnley are relegated as Leeds clinch Premier League survival
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Leeds United have rejected an initial £46million bid from Barcelona for star winger Raphinha following their Premier League survival. With the 2021-22 league season concluded, the La Liga outfit are stepping up their attempts to sign Raphinha as Xavi Hernandez’s rebuild continues.
According to journalist Gianluigi Longari, Barcelona submitted the offer on May 14 in the case that Leeds avoided relegation to the Championship. But the West Yorkshire club have confidently rejected the approach and expect Barcelona to return with an improved attempt to lure him to Camp Nou.
Leeds needed to better Burnley’s result on the final day of the Premier League season to avoid the drop just two years after gaining promotion. Raphinha scored in a 2-1 win at 10-man Brentford, while Burnley suffered a defeat by the same scoreline against Newcastle United at Turf Moor.
Had Jesse Marsch’s side suffered final-day heartbreak, Raphinha’s £21m relegation clause would have been activated, opening the door for a significant summer coup. But the report claims the 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms with Barcelona, his preferred destination, ahead of next season.
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Leeds are likely holding out for any suitor to activate Raphinha’s £63m release clause if they are to offload him this summer. If Barcelona cough up that fee, the Whites would have no choice but to allow him to leave Elland Road after a two-year stint.
Chelsea, who have also been linked with Raphinha, have held talks with his agent, Deco, but Barcelona emerged as clear front-runners during uncertainty over the takeover at Stamford Bridge. The Brazil international’s current deal expires in 2024, so if he stays this summer, Leeds will be tempted to cash in on him next to avoid losing him for free.
Now their Premier League status is confirmed, Leeds will be keen to bolster their squad and back Marsch with important signings to prevent another relegation scrap next season. While Raphinha’s stay would be a significant boost, £63m would go a long way in improving different areas of the American coach’s squad.
After a failed pursuit in January, Leeds are set to complete a £22m deal for RB Salzburg attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson in the summer transfer window. And the USMNT international isn’t likely to be the final recruit of Marsch’s first window in the dugout.
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