Barcelona reach 'agreement in principle' with Leeds United to sign Raphinha

Brazilian winger set to move to La Liga giants after shunning interest from Chelsea and Arsenal

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Raphinha is on the verge of completing his dream move to Barcelona after the Spanish giants confirmed they had "reached an agreement in principle" with Leeds United to sign the Brazilian winger.

"FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Raphael Dias Belloli, Raphinha, pending the player passing his medical," read a statement on the Barcelona website.

Raphinha has received interest from several clubs this summer, with Chelsea and Arsenal also reported to have submitted bids, but once Barca joined the race it became clear that the Camp Nou was his preferred destination.

Barca's well-documented financial problems threatened to derail the move, but the clubs have reportedly agreed a structured deal that will see the Catalans pay an initial fee of €58 million ($58.4m) plus add-ons that could take the deal up to €65m.

Raphinha, who skipped Leeds' pre-season trip to Australia to finalise his future, is expected to imminently travel to Barcelona to undergo his medical and complete the formalities.

The 25-year-old Brazil international is set to become Barcelona's third major signing of the summer following the arrivals of Ivorian midfielder Franck Kessie and Danish defender Andreas Christensen, both on free transfers.

Raphinha came through the youth ranks at Brazilian club Avai before moving to Europe with Portuguese side Vitoria Guimaraes in 2016. Two seasons later he joined Sporting Lisbon and joined French outfit Rennes in 2019. After one year, Raphinha joined Leeds in 2020, where he has scored 17 goals and produced 12 assists in 67 appearances. He has been capped nine times by Brazil.

Barcelona are also expected to be further boosted by Ousmane Dembele signing a new contract. The France international winger became a free agent at the end of June but will put pen to paper on a new long-term deal.

Having narrowly avoided relegation last season, Leeds are now building for the new Premier League season without their two best players after Kalvin Phillips sealed his move to Manchester City earlier in the summer.

Updated: July 13, 2022, 11:42 AM