By George Overhill

30th Jun, 2022 | 7:10pm

Leeds United reject late Barcelona bid for Raphinha amid £60m Chelsea plan - Fabrizio Romano

Barcelona failed with a last-ditch bid for Leeds United star Raphinha on Wednesday night following talks with Deco, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Chelsea have an agreement in place to buy the Brazilian for £60million and that remains the benchmark as the Catalan giants have still not reached that level.

The Portuguese agent apparently travelled to the Camp Nou to give them a last chance to get in on the deal after the London club took pole position in the race.

They remain there for now despite a bid finally arriving from La Liga but the 25-year-old himself is yet to make a decision.

Transfer journalist Romano, who also writes for the Guardian, posted on his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon (30 June) to reveal the bid from the night before, saying: “Excl: Barcelona contacted Leeds yesterday night to submit new bid for Raphinha, following talks with Deco.

“Barça verbal proposal does not fulfill [sic] Leeds request, yet.

“Leeds insist on respecting the agreement with Chelsea for £60m.

“It’s still open on player side.”

Despite the Blaugrana making their intentions official they are still being knocked away by Elland Road officials, as Romano returned with a second update to say: “Barcelona proposal for Raphinha is official and written, already sent – Leeds have no intention to accept that bid, as things stand.

“Leeds want to respect the agreement with Chelsea – still waiting for player and Deco to accept.

“Barça, trying until the end.”

11th-hour

After all these weeks of waiting the club who were thought to be the automatic choice for Raphinha have finally come through with a bid and it still isn’t high enough.

Now that money in the realm of what is required for the star winger is on the table from Stamford Bridge it looks to have shocked others into action.

Barca are lucky that the agent involved in the whole equation is Deco otherwise it seems unlikely that they would still be afforded an opportunity after having delayed for so long.

Whites fans would be excused for losing patience with the saga considering the position at Elland Road has remained fairly constant throughout, while the Blaugrana, then Arsenal, decided they had better ideas and would either stall or offer low money.

They have agreed a sale of media rights at the Camp Nou [The Athletic] which has given them some financial manoeuvrability but whether it is enough to match Chelsea’s bid remains to be seen.

Raphinha, or at least his agent, appear to be willing to give them every chance to make good on their interest, but the Blues, or indeed Leeds, cannot hold on forever.

United will want the money in to do their own business, and they have been tipped to still do a great deal of it.

This looks like it is belatedly heading towards some sort of conclusion, but it still isn’t entirely clear what that conclusion will be.

Fans would surely prefer to see the Brazil international move out of the Premier League if he has to go, although few will be happy to see Barcelona get what they want at the end of this.

In other Leeds United news, the club are in the hunt for defensive help in the form of yet another new American target.