By Daniel Feliciano

26th Mar, 2022 | 8:45am

Leeds winger Raphinha 'best placed' to replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona - report

Leeds star Raphinha is ‘best placed’ to replace Ousmane Dembele at Barcelona this summer, according to journalist Matteo Morretto.

The Brazilian has been heavily linked with a move to the Camp Nou this summer, with talks between the player’s camp and the Spanish giants well advanced [Fabrizio Romano].

Now Morretto has shared the reasons why Xavi and Barcelona have made their move for the 25-year-old, on his Twitter account, with a replacement for £120m Dembele high up on their list of priorities for the summer.

Dembele’s contract is due to expire at the end of the current campaign and both clubs have publicly reached an impasse in talks, making it likely he leaves despite both parties wanting to reach a deal.

Morretto says Raphinha’s profile as a ‘big team player’ makes him best placed to be the man to fill that void, while his agent Deco has a great relationship with the Catalan club which helps too.

Great alternative

Dembele is a terrific talent and undoubtedly one of the best wingers in the world when he’s fit, but his injury problems have plagued him throughout his career and that affects what Barcelona are willing to pay him.

With a deal seemingly un-makeable, that leaves Raphinha as a solid alternative for the wide positions and he brings a similar skilset.

While not being as two-footed, Raphinha is excellent in one-on-one situations going foward, has great energy off the ball and is capable of chipping in with goals and assists.

He’s also young and coachable which is something the Catalan club will love and it’s now seemingly about getting a fee agreed. Leeds should be as difficult as possible when it comes to a sale though, because he’s their best player.

The struggles in the Premier League this season have shown his importance to the side, because his period of off-form coincided with a long winless run. Leeds need to get maximum money for him or they should completely ignore the possibility of a sale, because it only hurts them if he leaves.

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