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Leeds star Raphinha plans on forcing through a summer move to Barcelona, according to reports. The Brazilian has been a shining light amid a difficult campaign for the Elland Road outfit, who remain in a fight to avoid Premier League relegation. And a summer departure could be on the cards.
According to Sport, Raphinha’s current priority is keeping Leeds in the Premier League for another season.
The Whites currently sit 17th in the standings, two points ahead of Everton having played a game more.
Leeds have won just eight of their 34 league matches this term but Raphinha has been a positive, scoring 10 goals and clocking up three assists.
The publication states the Samba star is grateful for Leeds for ‘opening the door to the Premier League’ for him.
But, regardless of what happens between now and the end of the campaign, he’s said to be planning to ‘force whatever is necessary’ in order to ensure Leeds accept Barcelona’s offer.
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Should he push to move permanently, then it’s stated the Whites would demand a fee in the region of £34million to let him go.
That would make him one of the biggest sales in the club’s entire history, behind Rio Ferdinand’s move to Manchester United in 2002.
Raphinha’s agent, Deco, is said to be a ‘key figure in the entire operation’.
He proposed his compatriot’s name to the Barcelona board and Xavi has apparently sanctioned a deal already.
For now, Raphinha will try and keep Leeds up.
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But it’s looking increasingly likely the winger will be on the move when the transfer window reopens, regardless of what happens with their top-flight status.
Raphinha isn’t the only player who Barcelona want as they look to reel in fierce rivals Real Madrid next season.
At the back, they’re hoping to raid Chelsea for Cesar Azpilicueta and Andreas Christensen.
There’s even a chance Barcelona will be able to land Marcos Alonso, too, who is interested in swapping Stamford Bridge for the Nou Camp.
In midfield, Franck Kessie remains on their radar.
The Ivory Coast international’s time at AC Milan appears to be ending, with his contract due to expire.
And Barcelona are presently in pole position to secure his signature.
Up top, the Catalan giants are seeking a marketable No 9 to fill the void left behind by Lionel Messi’s departure.
And Robert Lewandowski is now their top target, especially with his Bayern Munich future up in the air.
Luis Suarez has also been linked with a stunning return at a time where his Atletico Madrid contract is due to expire.
And, like Leeds, Barcelona also face an interesting summer ahead.
Speaking last month, meanwhile, Ronaldinho urged Raphinha to make sure he ends up strutting his stuff in La Liga next term.
“I would very much like him to come,” said the iconic Brazilian.
“He has a lot of quality, he would fit in very well with Spanish football due to his playing characteristics.”
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