Leeds: £60k-a-week star will 'most likely' leave Elland Road

Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch on the touchline

Leeds United star Raphinha is ‘most likely’ to join Barcelona regardless of whether Premier League football heads back to Elland Road next season, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

Although the Brazilian’s £60,000-per-week deal with the Yorkshire giants is not due to expire until the summer of 2024, there are question marks over whether he will remain with the Whites beyond the upcoming transfer window.

What’s the latest news involving Raphinha?

It appears Barcelona are the frontrunners to prise Raphinha away from Leeds as the Catalan giants are reportedly preparing a summer bid despite halting talks until the end of the season.

But the La Liga outfit are not the winger’s only admirer as West Ham United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Newcastle United and Paris Saint-Germain have also shown an interest.

In fact, West Ham were the first club to show they were serious about wanting to conclude a deal as they headed to the negotiating table with a £50million bid in the January transfer window, but they were left frustrated as Leeds rejected the proposal.

Interest in Raphinha should not come as a surprise as he has contributed 28 goals and assists since making the £17million move to Elland Road in 2020.

The 25-year-old heads into the final day of the season, when Leeds will go to battle with Brentford, having found the back of the net 10 times.

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What has Alex Crook said about Raphinha?

Crook is certain that Raphinha will not be on Leeds’ books by the time next term gets underway, with Barcelona being his most likely destination.

The talkSPORT reporter feels the seven-cap Brazil international and team-mate Kalvin Phillips are set to move onto pastures new regardless of whether the Whites maintain their Premier League status.

Crook told GIVEMESPORT: “I think he’ll go anyway, whether they stay up or go down. I think he will probably end up at Barcelona – that looks the most likely outcome.

“They’re going to struggle to keep Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips whatever happens. I think there’s a suggestion they’ve both got release clauses in their contracts if they do go down.”

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Will it be difficult to hold onto Raphinha?

Jesse Marsch’s Leeds are currently in a relegation dogfight and dropping into the Championship would almost certainly result in Raphinha heading out of the exit door.

That possibility has increased as it has emerged that Raphinha is among a host of players who had release clauses written into their contract by owner Andrea Radrizzani and they can only be activated if they fall out of the top flight.

Suitors will be in the driving seat if that is the case as they will be aware that a deal is there to be done and it is understood that the wide-man’s relegation release clause is just £25million despite him being valued at £40.5million by Transfermarkt.

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