Leeds United exit in danger for Raphinha as Barcelona can't register Franck Kessié or Andreas Christensen
Talks over Raphinha’s exit from Leeds United look set to be a moot point as Barcelona cannot currently register the signings they have made.
The Catalan giants have already signed Chelsea’s Andreas Christensen and AC Milan’s Franck Kessié on free transfers, but according to Sport they aren’t able to confirm either of them.
This is on top of the issue from last week that they were unable to announce a new deal for Sergi Roberto, as financial pressures mount on president Joan Laporta.
It has widely been reported that through Deco an agreement has been reached between the Whites’ Brazilian star and the side from La Liga.
The headline stumbling block appears to be the transfer fee that will be required to take the 25-year-old to the Camp Nou, with United justifiably expecting a windfall but Barca apparently still hoping to pay somewhere around the amount that his relegation-release clause would have been (Sport).
But the inability to pay in excess of £40million or £50million is immaterial if players that required no transfer fee can’t be signed on.
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As the most recent Sport report notes, Laporta can do all he likes in agreeing terms with players he wants to sign but it’s a very different matter to actually pay a team or player to make it happen.
The club’s pursuit of Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski who declared his time in Bavaria over on Monday (30 May) as he pushes for his own move to the Camp Nou (Guardian), is in a very similar state.
Whether there is money available is not the issue, as the rules that are imposed on Barca by La Liga for their financial mismanagement mean they have to fit all their player salaries within a cap (The Athletic).
It was famously the reason why iconic captain Lionel Messi had to walk away for free a year ago, after which the club still struggled with registration issues as they attempted to squeeze the likes of Sergio Aguero and Memphis Depay in regardless.
They eventually managed to shed enough squad players and convince high earners to renegotiate deals in a way that allowed them to get the players signed on.
But they didn’t stop there and somehow spent €55million on Manchester City’s Ferran Torres in January, leading to similar issues again which saw them even having to extend Samuel Umtiti’s contract to 2026 despite not wanting him any more.
But there is only so much creative financial manoeuvring that can be done to push these issues down the line, and as they continue to sign players as quickly as shifting others it seems inevitable that it will reach a point of impossibility.
Albert Masnou writes in Sport that the future holds “greater pessimism” than the present thanks to this situation, and absent a completely unforeseen development it’s difficult to see how Raphinha can possibly get the move he wants.
In other Leeds United news, the Whites are making them wait as still no formal negotiations have taken place.