By Daniel Feliciano

8th Jun, 2022 | 9:40am

Barcelona prioritise Leeds United winger Raphinha signing over Angel Di Maria option

Leeds United are braced for an official transfer bid from Barcelona for winger Raphinha after they opted against pursuing a deal for Angel Di Maria.

The Catalan club have been heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian all summer, but were hoping to take advantage of a relegation release clause before the Whites avoided the drop.

With disparity between their valuations the La Liga side began looking at alternative options including free agent Di Maria, but according to Mundo Deportivo [June 8] that option has now been to the side due to his age and Raphinha remains the top target.

At 25-years-old the club believe it makes more sense to go for the Leeds star as he has more upside, with the club already targeting players like Cesar Azpilicueta, Marcos Alonso and Robert Lewandowski in their 30’s.

The club are wary of making their squad too old and believe Raphinha has got his best years ahead of him. However they will need to find an agreement with Leeds, who value their star man at between £60-70m [The Athletic].

Expected

The only way Barcelona weren’t going to continue their pursuit of Raphinha was if the player decided against it or we got later into the window and they had made no progress.

As it stands the window isn’t even officially open, and reports in Spain say there have been no official contacts between the two clubs yet anyway [Mundo Deportivo, June 7].

There is plenty of time for negotiations to take place between the parties, with the possibility of players being exchanged as well as cash, while Leeds look to keep the man who scored the vital goals to keep them in the league.

It’s far too early to make a definitive call on which way this deal will go this summer, but the club will be aware that at some point an offer will be made and a decision will need to be taken.

So long as Raphinha doesn’t kick up a stink, the Whites hold all the cards and must stand firm to get their price or keep their man.

In other Leeds news, “ongoing negotiations” for star as Leeds look to tie up major deal