Barcelona has taken the lead in the race to sign Raphinha after reaching an agreement on a €60 million contract that will pay the Brazilian winger £5.2 million annually, according to Gerard Romero. The Catalan giants apparently reached a last-minute agreement with Leeds United that will supposedly allow them to match Chelsea’s initial offer but pay it back in instalments over a number of years.
The Blues had a bid approved earlier in the week, but they came into resistance from Raphinha’s agent, former Barcelona and Chelsea player Deco, who was holding up personal negotiations while the two awaited the Blaugrana’s approach. And now that Xavi’s team appears to be close to reaching a deal with Leeds, a transfer to the Camp Nou seems more possible.
The balance of the deal will probably move easily once personal terms are agreed upon by the two teams. The 25-year-old will see a big pay increase under those circumstances, with rumours of a €6 million yearly wage, or about £5.2 million.
That equals to a base weekly salary of £100,000, which is a significant rise above his previously reported deal at Elland Road, where he is reportedly earning £63,500 per week, according to Spotrac. However, it also represents a big reduction from the bid Chelsea is said to have made.
The Premier League team, led by new owner Todd Boehly, was prepared to pay the Brazilian up to £120,000 a week, which would have added over £1 million to his annual salary, but the former Rennes winger’s desire to play in Spain prevented the Premier League club from making a full offer.
Barcelona has finally secured the required finances, mostly through the sale of 10% of its broadcast rights for an estimated £178 million, with a payment plan, and all parties will now hope the transfer can be completed without any further complications.
Leeds still have a lot of summer work to do, including finding replacements for both Raphinha and midfielder Kalvin Phillips as well as filling the original priority position of another striker, which remains unfilled. It is hoped that by quickly terminating this agreement, the club will be better prepared to take action before their preseason tour of Australia later this month.