By George Overhill

8th Jul, 2022 | 2:30pm

Leeds United force Barcelona to act but Chelsea could still win, new £60m bid on table

Leeds United have forced Barcelona into action on Raphinha because they and the player want a fast resolution, Ben Jacobs reports.

The stalemate appears to have been broken after “advanced talks” between the Whites and the Catalan giants over the past 24 hours and a new bid is now on the table with the same total value as Chelsea’s.

It appears there is no chance that the Brazilian stays at Elland Road beyond the end of this window, and they have already bought his replacement in Luis Sinisterra from Feyenoord.

The offer from the Camp Nou still trails the one from Stamford Bridge in terms of up front fee, but talks are continuing today (Friday 8 July) and United’s pushing means “a fast resolution now expected”.

Chelsea still remain firmly in the picture as this drawn out saga looks to be approaching a conclusion.

CBS journalist Jacobs ended a thread of posts on his Twitter account by saying: “Big 24-48 hours ahead. Leeds have made it clear Barca can’t delay.

“An ‘urgent’ transfer is now required or Chelsea will become favourites.

“Contrary to some reports, Raphinha is very open to CFC, not only if a Barca move falls through but also if it doesn’t happen quickly.”

In addition Tutto Mercato reporter Gianluigi Longari reports that the new bid has left the “Barça Camp extremely confident to reach a total agreement” so this looks nearly over.

At last

What has developed into an uncomfortable situation for all involved is finally on the brink of a result, as the Whites have taken control of the situation.

The vital week is almost past but it seems that it could still prove to be the turning point although the 25-year-old’s final destination is still not confirmed.

If Barcelona are now as close as this to matching the offer from Chelsea then they have to be favourites at this point, but the payment schedule is a key factor at Elland Road.

They have already spent their money and are facing a significant shortfall if they aren’t compensated for Raphinha according to their expectations.

With as much as €300million expected via further rights sales at the Camp Nou within the next month it surely cannot be impossible that they reach an agreement to satisfy officials at Leeds imminently.

The Chelsea option looks to still be very real with the player’s personal view far more favourable to them than is widely believed.

But he has always wanted Barca and it looks like he might finally be about to get it.

If United get the money they have been asking for all along there could be a satisfactory resolution here for everybody, with the notable exception of the Blues in London.

In other Leeds United news, one club chief has got personally involved in the attempts to take another Whites player to Europe this summer.