Barcelona are reportedly ‘absolutely ready’ to sign Leeds United winger Raphinha come the start of July, according to reports, despite needing €500 million to save the club from financial collapse.
The Catalan giants have made Raphinha their priority target this summer and have already courted the Brazilian, but face stiff resistance in West Yorkshire in the hunt for a deal.
The 25-year-old is contracted at Elland Road until 2024 and Leeds have set their stall out with a price tag of around £60-70 million paid upfront. Premier League survival ended Barcelona’s hope of a £25 million release clause and the Whites hierarchy won’t listen to any talk of instalments over the course of a contract.
Barcelona’s financial situation has been well-documented, with the Spanish side having to cut wages of their core players last summer in order to bring in free transfers such as Ferran Torres from Manchester City – they also lost Lionel Messi on a free after being unable to afford to re-sign him.
But despite all of the above, Spanish daily Sport have claimed that Xavi’s side are well positioned to sign the Whites talisman this summer, and are just waiting to see if Ousmane Dembele leaves the club come the end of his contract on June 30. The paper also stated that Barcelona expect a ‘calm negotiation’ with the Whites.
How they plan to afford the former Rennes man – who arrived at Elland Road for just £17 million – remains to be seen, with vice president of Eduard Romeu confessing on Thursday that the club will need to raise half-a-billion euros to merely survive.
“The number doing the most damage is asset imbalance,” Romeu told Sport . “The negative capital of €500 million. I said it before, if someone wants give me €500 million…that is what we need to save Barca.”
Barcelona have also told Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewnadowski that they plan to bring him to the Nou Camp, while Angel Di Maria and Whites target Marc Roca have also been targeted.
Barcelona sold Phillipe Coutinho to Aston Villa for £20 million in May and are expected to offload Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United – with a price tag of around £60 million previously quoted. None of which goes far enough to plug the €500 million gap in the club’s finances, yet they remain supremely confident of a move for Leeds’ main man.