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Raphinha has handed in a transfer request to Leeds United and wants the club to sell him to FC Barcelona, according to reports.
The Brazil international was pivotal in the Yorkshiremen sealing Premier League survival on the last day of the season on Sunday, netting a penalty that opened the scoring before knocking in the corner that Jack Harrison headed home against Brentford for a 2-1 win.
This made sure Leeds finished three points above nearest rivals Burnley who occupied the first spot in the drop zone, and Raphinha then won extra favor with the fans for celebrating with them in the stands at full time.
SPORT report news of Raphinha’s transfer request on Tuesday, and say that the 25-year-old feels “psychologically liberated”after securing his current club top flight football next term while now feeling it is time to move on.
Raphinha, who is tied down in a contract until 2024, has therefore decided to speed up his exit and wants his future clear before he leaves for Asia with the Brazil national team at the beginning of next month.
Back in March, Barca put forward a €35mn ($37.5mn) offer for the Gaucho native of Porto Alegre which was knocked back.
Leeds have pointed to a £75mn ($93.7mn) release clause for their charge that is out of sync with Barca’s financial reality while in debts of around $1.5bn. And though the supposed £25mn ($31.2mn) cut price if Leeds were relegated is now a non-starter, Mundo Deportivo report separately that Barca are “accelerating” their approach for Raphinha and can land him for a fee not that far north of the reduced sum.
Something around the €40mn ($42.8mn) mark could loosen Leeds’ resolve, it is said, while possibly throwing in a player such as Oscar Mingueza may also pique their interest.
Raphinha is said to have a five-year deal already agreed with the Catalans, who are preparing for life without Ousmane Dembele and don’t want to be left short on the right wing in 2022/2023.
The Frenchman is a free agent after June 30, and Barca allegedly see him as “95% out” of the Camp Nou exit door while most likely to join Paris Saint Germain where his Les Bleus and Russia 2018 World Cup-winning teammate Kylian Mbappe has requested his presence.
Represented by Barca legend Deco, it seems that Raphinha is doing all he can to get his dream move over the line.