Raphinha keen to wrap up Barcelona move
Leeds United are yet to decide if Raphinha will join their upcoming pre-season tour as he angles for a move to LaLiga giants Barcelona.
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch has revealed Raphinha appears anxious to secure a move away from Elland Road and could miss the team’s upcoming pre-season tour of Australia amid links to Barcelona.
Raphinha has become the subject of a high-profile transfer tussle since he helped Leeds secure Premier League safety on the final day of last season, with Barça, Chelsea and Arsenal touted as possible destinations. Chelsea appeared set to secure the tricky wideman’s signature after reportedly agreeing to a deal worth over £60million last week, but that move has stalled amid Raphinha’s apparent desire to join Barça. Barcelona president Joan Laporta is certain of Raphinha’s intention to move to Camp Nou, announcing on Saturday: “He wants to come”.
Friendly against Blackpool
Raphinha returned for pre-season training with Marsch’s side on Thursday, but did not feature in their 4-0 friendly win over Blackpool in York, after which the American said the winger’s presence on their upcoming tour – which begins on Sunday – was uncertain.
“My guess is… I don’t know [if he will travel],” Marsch said. “We just have to wait and see what happens in the next couple of days. There’s urgency from his end, I think, to come up with a solution. We have to in the next couple of days see how things stand and see how we go. It hasn’t been an easy time for him this summer. Things have come and gone and there have been a lot of little discussions. Right now he’s our player. He showed up today and trained with everybody, he had such a good attitude. We had a very open and honest conversation about while he’s here, he’s part of us, and then we’ll see what happens. It’s still a long way to go in the transfer window. I know he has hopes and dreams. I know he loves this team and this club and he loves being here. We’ll see how things progress day by day.”
Leeds secured the signing of Feyenoord winger Luis Sinisterra for a reported fee of £21.3million on Thursday, is a clear sign that the Yorkshire club could be planning for life without the Brazilian. But Barcelona must first overcome their financial difficulties in order to strike a deal for Raphinha, with Laporta acknowledging this week that salary adjustments were necessary in order for the Catalans to register new signings Franck Kessié and Andreas Christensen.