That’s according to a report by Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo (via Sport Witness), who claim that, despite the winger previously being said to have already agreed personal terms with the LaLiga side, Barca could now walk away from a deal for the Brazil international.
The report goes on to state that this is a result of the ongoing situation concerning Ousmane Dembele, the French forward who is out of contract at the Camp Nou this summer, but who is also a player Xavi is thought to be keen to tie down to a new deal.
Should Dembele remain at Barca, Mundo Deportivo claim that the Catalan outfit will neither have the space in their first-team squad nor the financial capacity to offer Raphinha his previously agreed salary – something that could well see the Spanish club’s move for the 25-year-old fall-through.
While it is true that, even if Raphinha’s proposed move to Barcelona were to fall through, there would still be a considerable amount of interest in the winger – with Arsenal and Manchester United also having been linked with a move – considering how certain the Brazilian’s departure had previously looked, this latest twist in the saga is sure to have left Leeds supporters buzzing.
Indeed, should the Whites somehow manage to keep hold of the forward beyond the closure of the summer transfer window on September 1, it would certainly come as a huge boost to Jesse Marsch, Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani – as the attacker is undoubtedly one of the club’s most talented players.
This was evident over his 35 Premier League appearances in 2021/22, with the £40.5m-rated talent scoring 11 goals, registering three assists and creating 10 big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.5 shots, making 1.9 key passes and completing 1.8 dribbles per fixture.
As such, while Orta has already sealed the exciting addition of Brenden Aaronson this summer, as well as the Whites being linked with a number of other highly-rated targets, should Raphinha indeed remain at Elland Road heading into 2022/23, it would undoubtedly be the biggest result of the Whites’ transfer window.