Football: Barcelona reach agreement with Leeds to sign Raphinha

Spanish media reported that Barcelona will pay €58 million (S$82 million) for Brazilian winger Raphinha. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Barcelona have reached an agreement in principle to sign Brazilian winger Raphinha from English Premier League side Leeds United, both clubs announced on Wednesday (July 13).

"FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Raphael Dias Belloli, Raphinha, pending the player passing his medical," Barcelona said in a statement.

Financial details were not disclosed but Spanish media reported that the Catalan giants will pay €58 million (S$82 million) in a fee that could go up to €68 million with the agreed add-ons.

Chelsea and Arsenal both tried to make a late push in an effort to sign the player, but the 25-year-old Brazil international chose to join Barcelona, who finished second in La Liga last season.

He scored 17 goals in 67 games in all competitions for Leeds after joining the Yorkshire club in 2020 from Stade Rennais. The 25-year-old previously also played for Sporting Lisbon.

Raphinha has taken the front seat to be Brazil’s right winger at this year’s World Cup in Qatar, starting seven of the last nine games of his national team and chipping in with three goals and two assists since being called for the first time by coach Tite in October 2021. 

He becomes coach Xavi Hernandez’s third signing of the transfer window following the arrivals of Franck Kessie and Andreas Christensen on free transfers. 

Forward Ousmane Dembele, whose Barcelona contract expired last month, joined the team on Tuesday and is expected to sign a new deal with the Catalan giants. 

Dembele’s potential contract extension would boost Barcelona’s attacking options as the team also look to sign Poland striker Robert Lewandowski from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich. 

Barca later announced that they have reached an agreement with Portuguese club Sporting for the loan of winger Francisco Trincao until June 2023. The deal includes the option to purchase the player when the loan period expires. 

Trincao joined Barcelona from SC Braga in 2020, featuring 42 times and scoring three goals in all competitions for the Catalan club in the 2020-21 campaign.

He then spent the following season on loan at English Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers. 

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.