Leeds United look set to lose the services of Raphinha in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Spanish publication Sport (via TEAMtalk), who claimed that Barcelona have now submitted a £35m (£29m) offer for the Brazilian winger – something to which Leeds are yet to respond – and suggesting that the 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms ahead of a potential switch to the LaLiga side this summer.
The report added that, should the Whites suffer relegation to the Championship come the end of the season, the forward will be free to leave Elland Road for as little as €25m (£21m) due to a release clause in his contract. It is also reported that Victor Orta is hoping to receive a figure of around €50m (£41.5m) from the sale of Raphinha.
Considering that West Ham United were reported to have had a £50m bid for Raphinha rejected in the January transfer window, it would appear rather unlikely that Leeds will demand as little as £41.5m in order to part with the attacker this summer, as Sport have claimed.
However, if the Spanish publication are to be taken at their word regarding the 25-year-old having agreed personal terms with Barcelona, Orta must ensure that the fee Leeds receive for the £36m-rated magician is one that the club simply could not turn down, as letting a player of Raphinha’s ability go for the figure that Sport suggested would undoubtedly be a disaster for the Whites.
Indeed, over his 27 Premier League fixtures this season, the £63k-per-week forward has been Leeds’ standout performer, bagging nine goals, providing three assists and creating nine big chances for his team-mates, in addition to taking 2.7 shots and making 2.1 key passes per game.
These returns have seen the Brazilian, who Illan Meslier dubbed a “storm” and Gary Neville claimed is “a level above” a number of Manchester United players, average a tremendous SofaScore match rating of 6.97. Meanwhile, WhoScored rank him as the Whites’ best player to have started a league match this term, awarding him a 7.05 rating.
As such, it is clear to see that Raphinha is more than worth Leeds’ £60m asking price reported by the British media, a figure which Orta simply must not go below when negotiating the sale of the 25-year-old this summer – if the Brazilian star is indeed going to move on from the club.