Raphinha has flown to Barcelona to finalise his move from Leeds. The Spanish club have agreed to pay an upfront fee of €58m (£49m) with add-ons of €9m.
The Brazil winger has long had his heart set on a move to the Camp Nou and he has had to suffer as Barcelona have battled to present an acceptable offer in the face of well-documented financial difficulties. But they have managed to get the numbers to work to the delight of Raphinha and the disappointment of a host of Premier League clubs.
Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle were seriously interested in Raphinha, with Chelsea having an initial £55m bid accepted. If pressed, the 25-year-old would have favoured Arsenal out of the English clubs but they were considered unlikely to pay the required fee.
Liverpool were interested in Raphinha last summer, according to the player’s agent, Deco – the former Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder – and Manchester United are understood to have had a £40m bid turned down last summer.
Raphinha, under contract at Leeds until 2024, was central to the club’s successful fight against relegation from the Premier League last season, scoring 11 goals and making three assists. He joined from Rennes in 2020 for £17m and contributed six goals and nine assists in his first league season at Elland Road.