Transfer Talk: European giants join race for Raphinha
Leeds face an uphill battle to keep hold of Brazilian winger Raphinha this summer.
Barcelona, Manchester City, Liverpool and Bayern Munich are among a cluster of clubs keen on the 25-year-old, according to the Mirror.
Yet the struggling Whites are determined to try and retain their prized asset and will reportedly listen to no offers below £60million.
Such a fee may be difficult for Barca to muster given their recent financial issues, though the LaLiga giants do hold one ace up their sleeve.
Raphinha’s agent is legendary Portuguese midfielder Deco, who enjoyed a memorable playing stint at the Camp Nou between 2004 and 2008.
Blaugrana chiefs are said to have already contacted their former star about a summer swoop for his client as Xavi looks to press on with his rebuild in Catalonia.
With the threat of a potential relegation still looming large, Leeds have more immediate concerns but talks have kicked off over a potential new contract for their key man.
However, Raphinha is reluctant to commit due to a disagreement over an appropriate buy-out clause — as well as the Yorkshire club’s precarious position in the Premier League.
Having lit up the division since arriving at Elland Road 18 months ago, staying in England could well be the most attractive option for the Selecao international.
West Ham were reported to have had a £55m offer turned down in January, while big-spending Newcastle could also play a part in any bidding war.
But stature and the prospect of Champions League football is likely to make title-chasing City and Liverpool frontrunners.
Raphinha has netted 15 goals and registered 12 assists in the top flight since his October 2020 arrival from Rennes.
In other news
Barcelona are ready to hijack Real Madrid’s move for Paris Saint-Germain ace Kylian Mbappe, according to L’Equipe.
The report suggests that Mbappe, 23, is willing to listen to offers from all parties and has not made a final decision on where his future lies, despite constant links to the Bernabeu.
90min claim that Liverpool forward Divock Origi is considering contract offers from both AC Milan and Inter Milan.
Belgian forward Origi, 26, has been restricted to just five Premier League appearances this term and is set to depart Anfield this summer.
West Ham midfielder Declan Rice would still prefer a move to Chelsea over Manchester United, claim the Independent.
The Blues are in the process of seeking new ownership after sanctions placed on Roman Abramovich but that uncertainty has not deterred the 23-year-old England international.