By Joe Ellis

6th Jul, 2022 | 9:40am

Leeds United receive 'new contacts' in Raphinha race - Fabrizio Romano

The race to sign Raphinha from Leeds United is heating up as Barcelona make new contact with the Whites over the Brazilian, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The 25-year-old has already agreed personal terms with the Catalan giants but their less than ideal financial situation is preventing them from being able to match Leeds’ asking price.

Premier League rivals Chelsea meanwhile have had their £60million bid accepted by Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani but the Blues have come not come to an agreement with the player as Romano provided new information on the matter.

“In the last hours, Barcelona had new contacts with Deco, the agent of Raphinha, and they are really pushing,” Romano said on his YouTube channel.

“They have said that they will do their best to reach an agreement with Leeds but also today, Leeds insists that the only bid accepted is the one from Chelsea.

“They accepted the bid one week ago for £60million and they have no agreement yet with Barcelona who are offering €50million plus €10million in add-ons (£51.5million total).

“Barcelona would need to improve their proposal if they want to sign the player and we know that Raphinha gives priority to the Barcelona move and has an agreement on personal terms.

“This Raphinha story is going to be a real war between Chelsea and Barca.”

Could he stay?

If in some kind of crazy move Todd Boehly went and bought Barcelona too then a deal might actually be agreed but that could not be more unlikely to happen.

It is pretty clear that Raphinha would prefer not to join Thomas Tuchel’s squad at Stamford Bridge otherwise he would have accepted their contract terms already and the announcement would have been made.

The chances of Barcelona finding the money required to make a sufficient bid is looking just as unlikely at the moment though and no other move appears to entice the 25-year-old at the moment.

So if the Spaniards can’t stump up the cash required, there could be a chance that Raphinha lines up at Elland Road on 6 August for our first game of the season against Wolves.

There is no reason for us to accept any less than what the Blues have offered and, equally, he is under no obligation to accept their offer if he doesn’t want to move but it could be the saga that decides the trajectory of our season.

In other Leeds United news, contract talks between the Whites and this promising youngster have reached an impasse which is delaying his loan move away from Elland Road.