Barcelona, Chelsea and Arsenal… Leeds star Raphinha hasn’t been short of potential suitors this summer.
However, despite rumours of a move rumbling on since the Yorkshire side sealed survival back in May, the Brazilian’s future still remains unclear. And there’s now another twist in the transfer tale.
Barcelona, Raphinha’s preferred club, have been chasing the highly-rated winger for months.
However, given the La Liga giant’s financial problems – needing £428million to be saved from turmoil after years of financial mismanagement – it’s not been an easy ride trying to bring Raphinha to the Camp Nou.
Arsenal had originally been in pole position to sign the winger, but failed to match Leeds’ valuation.
Then, Chelsea swooped in to hijack their London rivals’ transfer negotiations, bidding the required £55m and reaching an agreement with Leeds.
Barcelona jumped back into the race, having already agreed personal terms with the star, but are yet to match Chelsea’s bid.
talkSPORT understands Barcelona want to pay the first instalment of cash to Leeds next year – but there are real concerns over whether the Spanish club will even be around to meet that agreement amid their financial woes and the threat of administration.
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The Whites are set to jet off for their pre-season tour in Australia on Sunday and Raphinha will not be joining his teammates.
“I strongly suspect he won’t be [on the flight to pre-season] because he wants to join Barcelona,” talkSPORT transfer reporter Alex Crook explained.
“They’re still yet to match the offer Chelsea made several weeks ago now, Chelsea are waiting to agree personal terms with Raphinha, but Barcelona are getting closer to that £55m fee.
“It’s a very creative deal. I was told by a source close to it that they [Barcelona] don’t want to pay their first chunk of money until next year.
“How palatable that will be for Leeds I don’t know, because I was told there’s a genuine concern among selling clubs that if they do that kind of deal with Barcelona, Barcelona might not be around to pay these instalments.
“They really fear for the future of Barcelona in terms of administration, maybe even bankruptcy.
“So, it’s a really difficult one for Leeds when you’ve got a player who’s really only got their sights on one club, you’ve accepted a bid from another, what do you do?”
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