It became pretty clear that Leeds United were going to lose Raphinha at some point this summer, the only questions that remained involved the eventual fee and where he would actually go.
Arsenal and Chelsea were the two Premier League sides that were heavily linked with a transfer, but it appears that they’ve lost out to Barcelona with the Brazilian expected to fly to Spain tomorrow to sort out the move:
? Raphinha will travel to Barcelona on Wednesday as they work to finalise transfer from Leeds. Despite #CFC + #AFC pursuits #FCBarcelona always priority for 25yo – decisive movement over weekend & now close to completion. W/ @PhilHay_ @TheAthleticUK #LUFC https://t.co/fzeeN3x9jU
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) July 12, 2022
The report actually claims that Chelsea do still have an agreement in place with Leeds over a potential transfer, but the player has made it clear that he wants to go to Barca and there seems to be little chance of anything changing.
If it does go through then it could be interesting to watch Barca over the next year or two – They’ve had some well-publicized money issues that eventually led to Lionel Messi having to leave, while this isn’t going to be a cheap operation so it appears they are throwing everything at trying to improve ahead of next season:
Barcelona are literally mortgaging the future to win a transfer window. Incredible
— Liam Twomey (@liam_twomey) July 12, 2022
It’s going to be a huge loss for Leeds as it’s hard to see how they’ll manage to find a replacement with the same quality while it’s harder to negotiate after you’ve just made a major sale, so it also remains to be seen who’ll step up for them next season to help fill the void.