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Joan Laporta confirms Barcelona are in talks with Leeds United over Raphinha

Laporta confirms Barcelona are in talks with Leeds over Raphinha
© Reuters
Barcelona president Joan Laporta confirms that his club are in discussions with Leeds United over Raphinha.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has confirmed that his club are in discussions with Leeds United over the possibility of bringing Raphinha to Camp Nou.

The Brazil international has impressed for the Whites since arriving from Rennes in October 2020, scoring 17 goals and registering 12 assists in 67 appearances in all competitions.

Last term, Raphinha netted 11 goals and registered three assists in 35 Premier League appearances, with Leeds managing to avoid the threat of relegation to stay in the top flight.

The 25-year-old still has two years left to run on his contract, but there has recently been speculation surrounding his future, with a number of clubs said to be interested in his signature.

Chelsea are said to lead the Premier League interest in Raphinha, with the Blues believed to be working to bring him to Stamford Bridge, although Arsenal are also thought to be in the running.

Leeds United's Raphinha celebrates scoring their first goal on May 22, 2022© Reuters

The attacker's agent Deco is believed to be pushing for his client to move to Barcelona, though, with the Catalan outfit viewing him as a possible replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who is now a free agent.

Raphinha has allegedly told his representative to stop a move to Chelsea in order to concentrate on a switch to Xavi's side.

Laporta has confirmed that there is interest in the South American from the Catalan club, but a number of other sides are also competing for his signature in the current market.

"We have spoken to Leeds and I don't think they will be offended. We have communication. What happens is that there are other clubs who want Raphinha and they are making their proposals," Laporta told reporters.

Leeds are believed to want a fee in the region of £60m for Raphinha, which would be difficult for Barcelona due to their financial problems, with the club also keen to sign Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich.

Leeds United attacker Raphinha pictured on July 31, 2021© Reuters

Dembele could yet sign a new contract at Barcelona, but Adama Traore is back at Wolverhampton Wanderers following a loan spell, while the futures of Memphis Depay and Martin Braithwaite are unclear, so there could be room in the budget to sign Raphinha despite the current restrictions.

The Brazilian largely operates as a right-sided attacker, but he showed his versatility last season by playing off the left and through the middle for Leeds.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres are all certain to be options for Barcelona next season, while head coach Xavi wants Lewandowski to lead the attack.

Chelsea will continue to push for Raphinha, though, as the Blues have allowed Romelu Lukaku to return on loan to Inter Milan for the 2022-23 campaign, while Hakim Ziych and Timo Werner are being linked with exits.

Raphinha represented Avai, Vitoria Guimaraes and Sporting Lisbon ahead of a move to Rennes in 2019, spending just one season with the French outfit before arriving at Elland Road.

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