Barcelona are ready to step up efforts to bring in Brazilian winger Raphinha from Premier League side Leeds United and have scheduled “imminent talks” with the Whites.
The Catalans don’t want to wait until the end of the 2021-22 campaign to discuss the possibility of signing the winger who has become a “priority target,” as reported by Mike McGrath at The Telegraph.
Raphinha could be available for just £25 million if Leeds are relegated from the Premier League. Jesse Marsch’s side are just one place above the drop zone with four games left to play.
Yet Barca “will also try” to land Raphinha even if Leeds stay up. The Whites have a challenging fixture list with games against Arsenal, Chelsea, Brighton & Hove Albion, and Brentford still to come.
There is no doubt that Raphinha has been a key player for Leeds this season in what has been a tough campaign for the Whites. The Brazilian is the team’s top scorer with 10 goals from 32 games and has also contributed three assists.
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Raphinha In, Adama Out at Barcelona?
Barcelona’s desire to bring in a winger makes sense with Ousmane Dembele’s future still uncertain. The Frenchman is out of contract in the summer and yet to agree a contract extension.
The Catalans are also expected to wave goodbye to loanee Adama Traore at the end of the campaign. Barca have a purchase option in his deal but “have no intention” of shelling out the €30 million for the Wolves man, as reported by journalist Fabrizio Romano.
Adama only arrived back at Barca in January and enjoyed a bright start to life at the Camp Nou. The winger collected four assists in his first five games but has lost prominence as the season has progressed.
Raphinha’s agent is former Barcelona player Deco which could help negotiations. President Joan Laporta has already confirmed the club’s interest in the Brazilian in an interview with RAC1
Barcelona To Renew Memphis Depay’s Contract?
Barcelona’s only other winger in the first-team squad is Memphis Depay who is the team’s top scorer this season with 12 goals. Yet the Dutchman is not guaranteed a place in the starting XI due to the array of attackers Xavi at his disposal.
Depay’s contract runs out in 2023 but the club are considering offered a renewal to extend the forward’s stay at the club, as reported by Ivan San Antonion at Diario Sport.
Barca value Depay’s commitment to the cause and know he will be a valuable squad member going forwards, particularly if the club is unable to bring in a new No. 9 in the summer transfer window.
The Netherlands international has already made his feelings clear about his future when he spoke out after scoring in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Real Mallorca last time out. Depay told reporters that he wants “to be important for the team next year and several more years.”