Leeds kept their cool during the transfer talks, and Raphinha is now going to Barcelona for £65 million. The focus now turns to Frenkie de Jong and Manchester United’s pursuit of the Dutch player.
Raphinha is finally going to Barcelona for £65 million because Leeds didn’t give up during the painful transfer talks.
Barcelona finally agreed to pay what Leeds wanted for Neymar over the weekend. Leeds had made it clear that they would not sell their Brazil star for a low price. For the last two weeks, Chelsea’s offer of £60 million up front and £5 million in add-ons has been sitting on Leeds’s boardroom table, and the club told Barcelona that they would have to match it.
At first, Barcelona thought they could get the winger for just £25 million, which was how much his “get out of jail free” card was worth if Leeds were relegated. But Leeds won on the last day, and the Whites have refused to lower their asking price of £60 million.
Raphinha has always said that Barcelona was his first choice, and he and his agent Deco came to an agreement about personal terms at the beginning of the summer. But when Arsenal and then Chelsea made offers, Leeds was able to get a better deal from the big clubs in Catalonia. Arsenal’s interest started a bidding war, and even though Raphinha wasn’t going to move to the Emirates, it did lead Chelsea to offer £65 million. This put the ball firmly in Barcelona’s court, and they must now find a way to pay for the Raphinha deal.
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Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United for an initial fee of £56 million will be their top goal, and Erik ten Hag is focused on getting back together with his former Ajax star. Aside from De Jong not wanting to leave the Nou Camp for United, the biggest problem with the deal is that Barca owe the Dutch midfielder £17 million in unpaid wages.
Barcelona has renegotiated contracts with players like Gerard Pique, who owes them even more money, to ease the strain on their tight finances. It is thought that they also think they can reach a deal with De Jong. United and Ten Hag both think they can get De Jong to come to Old Trafford because Barcelona no longer wants him. Ten Hag will tell him that he will be a key part of his plans to rebuild United and make them a force again in the Premier League and Europe.