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Barcelona, Leeds United agree Raphinha deal

Barcelona have beaten Chelsea to the signing of Raphinha after reaching an agreement with Leeds United in a deal for the Brazilian winger on Tuesday.

Sources did not confirm the total cost of the deal, but the fee is thought to be worth over €60 million including add-ons, with the player expected to travel to Barcelona on Wednesday.

ESPN revealed in June that Leeds had also accepted an offer from Chelsea for Raphinha, but the player’s desire to move to Barca has permitted the Catalan club to win the race for his signature.

There was also interest from Arsenal, but the Gunners never returned after having an initial bid turned down by Leeds in June.

Barca’s agreement with Leeds comes following weeks of negotiations, with the Premier League side pushing for a deal similar to the one they agreed with Chelsea worth in excess of €70m.

Sources close to the talks previously explained that Barca’s initial offers were not deemed acceptable because they were add-on heavy and in several installments.

However, with Raphinha prepared to wait for Barca, and his agent, Deco, holding a series of meetings with the club’s sporting director Mateu Alemany to help unblock the situation, the two clubs have finally struck a deal.

The arrival of Raphinha will not have an effect on Ousmane Dembele’s future. The Frenchman’s contract with Barca expired on June 30, but he was at the training ground on Tuesday ahead of signing a new two-year deal at Camp Nou.

Sources told ESPN that Dembele will sign his new deal no later than Thursday, with the final documentation currently being reviewed by the club’s legal team.

Raphinha, 25, is a full international with Brazil and played a key role as Leeds secured Premier League survival on the final day of last season.

His penalty in the triumph over Brentford was one of 17 goals he scored during two seasons at Elland Road following a €20m move from French side Rennes in 2020.

He first made the move to Europe in 2018, joining Sporting Lisbon from Vitoria Guimarães and spending one season in Portugal before his move to France.

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