Exclusive: Fabrizio Romano names two other suitors for Raphinha as Barcelona transfer still not agreed

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Leeds United star Raphinha has been in talks over a transfer to Barcelona, but a deal has still not been completely agreed.

Fabrizio Romano, writing in his exclusive CaughtOffside column, has revealed that Barca are in the lead for Raphinha’s signature, but the Brazil international has also attracted interest from Chelsea and Newcastle United in recent times.

The sanctions placed on Chelsea in recent months have hampered things, but it makes sense that the Blues would have been keen on a talent like Raphinha, who has been a joy to watch in his time in the Premier League, and who could surely be an improvement on struggling performers like Timo Werner, Hakim Ziyech and Christian Pulisic.

Newcastle have also been among Raphinha’s admirers, with the club’s wealthy new owners certainly doing well if they manage to win the race for his signature, though it perhaps looks unlikely right now.

Raphinha could join Barcelona this summer

“There are still no advanced negotiations for Raphinha between Leeds and Barcelona because the Spanish club wants to respect Leeds in their relegation fight; but in reality, since March, Raphinha and his agent Deco are in very advanced talks with Barça on personal terms for a contract until June 2027,” Romano said.

“Raphinha wants Barcelona, it’s his priority, but there is no definitive agreement between clubs so far. We’ll see if the €25m release clause can be activated or not, with Leeds still not safe in the Premier League.

“Certainly English clubs like Newcastle have explored the Raphinha idea in recent months but they know that the player’s priority is now Barcelona.

Chelsea had been pushing for Raphinha as summer target since January, but sanctions have frozen negotiations and Barca are now leading the race.”

It could be a new-look attack at the Nou Camp next season if all goes to plan, with Romano also revealing that Robert Lewandowski is a top target for the Catalan giants.

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