By David Woods

5th Sep, 2020 | 8:37am

Report: Leeds open talks for £14.2m Barca attacker, Whites will pay fee & player wants PL switch

Leeds United have opened preliminary talks over a move for Barcelona attacker Rafinha Alcántara, according to Spanish outlet Sport.

The report claims that Leeds have started talks with the Spanish giants “in the last few hours” and are prepared to pay the asking price of £14.2m.

That was the sum of the buy-back option they gave to Celta Vigo, where Rafinha spent last season on loan.

The former Brazil international played 29 times for Celta Vigo last season, scoring four goals and adding one assist.

Celta Vigo are interested but can’t hit the asking price, while Rafinha is said to want to move to the Premier League to be close to his brother Thiago, who is homing in on a move to Liverpool.

New name in the mix

Rafinha Alcántara is a new name for Leeds but he fits the bill as Marcelo Bielsa looks to bring in an attacker/winger before the start of the new season.

He’s not been the most prolific player – the only time he hit double figures in a season was in La Liga 2 back in the 12/13 season for Barcelona B.

Phil Hay said that Leeds had other irons in the fire although their main target remains Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese.

Rafinha would be a lot cheaper and the report claims that Leeds are hopeful that they could get Barca’s asking price down further.

De Paul is a different level player. He’s a current Argentina international and he would command a fee at least double that of Rafinha.

If Leeds can’t land him, though, Rafinha would certainly be a player who would add a lot to the depth of the Leeds squad – and he’s a childhood friend of new striker signing Rodrigo.

He can play as an attacking midfielder or out on the right and made the bench for the Brazil team as recently as 2018.

A report claimed that Lazio had made a £10.7m bid for Rafinha in August after they lost David Silva, which will give a hint to Leed fans about the sort of player he is.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa and Leeds in disagreement about one key point in new PL contract