Leeds: Contract talks with £36m star 'seem to have stalled'

Contract talks between Leeds United and Raphinha seem to have “stalled”, says journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The 25-year-old was thought to be in dialogue over a new deal earlier this year, but nothing has been officially signed yet, leaving his future at Elland Road in doubt amid interest from other clubs.

What is the latest news involving Raphinha?

According to Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona have been in talks with Raphinha’s agent Deco since February as they look to bring in the Brazilian this summer.

Romano has also stated that personal terms are not an issue and that Raphinha has two release clauses. One stands at €75m (£62.9m), while the other is €25m (£21m) and comes into play if the Yorkshire club get relegated.

At one point, it had looked like the former Rennes man would definitely be staying at Elland Road for at least another season, with the reliable Phil Hay reporting in January that Leeds were growing in confidence that a new contract would be signed.

However, with Barcelona now pushing for his signature, an exit now looks to be on the cards.

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What has O’Rourke said about Raphinha?

O’Rourke thinks Leeds’ contract talks with Raphinha are now at a halt, something that Barcelona and other clubs are now trying to take advantage of.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider said: “Contract talks seem to have stalled between Leeds United and Raphinha, which has opened the door for some of the interested clubs to make a move.”

Will Raphinha end up joining Barcelona?

Right now, the Camp Nou looks to be where Raphinha is heading, with Barcelona president Joan Laporta pretty much confirming his club’s interest in the £36m-rated Brazil international.

“Raphinha is a player we really like and it’s true that Deco’s his agent,” Laporta told RAC 1 (via Fabrizio Romano). “I want to clarify that Deco’s not paid by the club. He will just help us because he dominates the Brazilian market,” the 59-year-old later added.

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Prior, it had looked like Chelsea were leading the race for Raphinha, with Romano saying as much. But with the European champions not able to sign anyone presently after owner Roman Abramovich was sanctioned by the UK government, that now seems to be them out of the equation for the player’s signature.

Ultimately, Leeds will not be giving up hope just yet, as there is still time for Raphinha to put pen to paper on a new contract, but it does look like Jesse Marsch is going to lose his star attacker to Barcelona this summer.

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