Barcelona announced on Wednesday, July 13 that a deal has been agreed with Premier League side Leeds United for the transfer of 25-year-old Brazilian winger Raphinha.
The Catalans confirmed the deal in a brief statement on the club’s website.
“FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Raphael Dias Belloli, Raphinha, pending the player passing his medical.”
Barcelona will reportedly pay a fixed fee of €58 million with the deal including another €10m in add-ons. Raphinha will sign a contract at the Camp Nou that runs until June 2027.
The Leeds forward is Barcelona’s third summer signing so far. Free agents Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie have already arrived, while the Catalans also want to sign Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski and Sevilla defender Jules Kounde.
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Raphinha Secures ‘Dream’ Move
Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch spoke about Raphinha just before the deal was announced at a press conference in Australia. The coach was full of praise for the Brazilian’s performances last season, as reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
“As much as it’s really hard to lose Raphinha I will say this about him – if you think about a young man, who was pretty much guaranteed to go on a reduced transfer fee 100 per cent to Barcelona if we were relegated and then you watch the performances and the commitment he had to making sure that the club was going to stay up,” he said. “I think it’d be hard for any, you know, 23, 24-year-old person with that kind of pressure and that kind of opportunity to perform the way that he did.”
Raphinha did have other offers, such as Premier League side Chelsea, but Marsch also made it clear that the forward has always dreamed of playing for Barcelona.
“And we are so thankful – I had that very clear conversation with him that a big part for me of us, considering to move him was the fact that he was so committed, that it made it easy for us to be very connected with what his goals in life and in his career are,” he added. “So I’m hopeful for his sake, as much as it’s hard to see him leave. I’m hopeful for him to get this deal done because I know it’s his dream to play for Barcelona.”
Dembele & Lewandowski Next For Barcelona?
Barcelona’s busy summer looks set to continue with the Catalans hoping to finalize deals for Ousmane Dembele and Lewandowski shortly. President Joan Laporta has told reporters Dembele and Raphinha will be presented at the club “this week,” as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
Laporta did not want to talk about Lewandowski specifically but did add that the club were “doing everything they can” to strengthen the squad during the summer transfer window.