Barcelona’s hopes of tempting Raphinha away from Leeds United were dealt a blow this afternoon as it appears Leeds may have the upper hand in negotiations.
Raphinha has been in excellent form for Leeds this season and has 12 goal contributions in the Premier League so far. Not only has he become part of the Brazil squad of late, but he has also garnered admiring glances from Catalonia. Joan Laporta admitted he was a great player on Monday night.
Yet Leeds’ Director of Football Victor Orta has poured some cold water on the optimism of culers that a deal might be struck. Speaking to RadioMarca, he had this to say on the matter.
“Fortunately, the person managing his career knows what he is doing and that is Deco [Raphinha’s agent].”
“In this case, he helps me. I can’t say all agents do but in this case he is a help to me. The only target he has placed in front of his client is to help Leeds survive – everything else in the future will come after that.”
Unprompted, Orta wanted to make it clear where things stood with Raphinha’s availability.
“I say this because a transfer guru said that he had a clause, sometimes that guru is wrong. Raphinha does not have a release clause if Leeds stay in the Premier League.”
That would mean a significant transfer fee would be required to pry him away from Leeds this summer and as reported earlier in the day, in no way are Leeds happy to accept a cut-price deal. All provided that Leeds do indeed stay up. Currently they find themselves seven points clear of the drop in 16th place.