Leeds United’s Raphinha set for Barcelona switch

Leeds United's Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United's Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images) /

Leeds United’s talisman Raphinha could be set for a summer switch to Barcelona after his last-day heroics on the final day of the Premier League season.

According to Sky Sports: Barcelona are set to make their intentions clear of signing the Brazilian star this coming week, which would signal bad news for Leeds’ supporters this summer.

A source close to Sky Sports told them that he would be interested in a move to the Nou Camp. His agent is former Portuguese and Chelsea midfielder Deco, who spent four years at Barca between 2004-2008. The news of their interest is also not new with them already monitoring his and the Whites’ situation since March.

"Barcelona are expected to make formal their interest in Leeds winger Raphinha in the coming days. Raphinha has two years left on his contract at Leeds and is not expected to sign a new deal.One source has told Sky Sports News Raphinha would like to join Barcelona. The 25-year-old is represented by Deco – friend and former team-mate of Barcelona boss Xavi.(Via: skysports.com)"

His performance in the final game of the 2021-22 campaign helped Leeds United secure their Premier League status, winning and scoring the resulting penalty in the victory at Brentford. He gave Jesse Marsch the result needed which very few expected.

Raphinha’s links to other Premier League clubs

Raphinha has been linked with a host of top Premier League clubs this season, but his form was left wanting before the Brentford match, with the club desperately in need of some inspiration and leadership.

Manchester City have been heavily linked with him along with Premier League rivals Liverpool and Chelsea. Any of these three clubs would be fitting destinations but with Leeds staying up in the top flight will he want to compete against them?

A move abroad is probably the decision he is leaning more towards with the above mentioned now in play. But the summer has just started and Barcelona have their finances to sort out before signing any new players.

Before leaving Elland Road he will be hoping to pick up the Leeds United Player of the Season award after missing out on the FWA and PFA Player of the Season for the Premier League.

The penalty on Sunday moved him to 11 goals, all in the league, ending the campaign as the club’s top goalscorer, with striker Patrick Bamford and various others missing large chunks of the run through injury.

He has also become a pivotal player for his country in recent months, coming off the bench on his debut for Brazil in October and assisting two goals. He will be hoping to emulate his international co-star Neymar if he does move to Spain where he will have the chance to compete in the Champions League, an opportunity deserving of his talents.

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His celebrations with the fans in the crowd at the Brentford Community Stadium could be a fitting way to end his association with them, having become a fan-favourite and key component in the team’s push over the past two years under former manager Bielsa and American Jesse Marsch.