Leeds United star Raphinha is Barcelona’s first-choice to replace Ousmane Dembele this summer, should the Frenchman leave as expected.
That’s according to Marca, who back up reports from earlier today that the Brazilian was being targeted by those in charge at the Camp Nou.
Those reports earlier today stated that Barcelona had abandoned their efforts to sign Erling Haaland and had instead turned their attention to Raphinha this summer, with a first bid of €35m even submitted.
Marca now back that up somewhat, stating the Leeds star is the first choice to replace Dembele and is ‘on the radar’ at the Catalan giants.
The newspaper explains that Barcelona are continuing their efforts to put a squad together for next season, and Raphinha is one of the players they have ‘in their sights’.
They believe he is the ‘clear option’ to improve their forward line, having watched his performances for Leeds and been impressed by what they’ve seen.
So far, there have been no negotiations with the Whites or the player about a move, but there is still time for them to take that step and get the ball rolling.
There is no rush to do that at this moment in time as the current squad has an abundance of wingers, so the focus is on trimming down, something which will be helped by the fact Dembele appears likely to leave on a free transfer.
When they’ve sorted that and the futures of the likes of Adama Traore and Trincao, then they will take the next step and look at signings.
The belief is that Leeds will ask for ‘around €40m’, which by our estimates seems a little low and may just be taken from Transfermarkt.
Whether Barcelona would pay such a figure or higher isn’t mentioned, but the interest in the Leeds man is apparently there, despite claims otherwise last week. Barca also have the advantage of having a relationship with Deco, who is Raphinha’s agent.
He is currently part of the ‘sports commission’ at the Camp Nou, so a deal could be worked out quickly with him for the forward, should they decide to push ahead with their interest.