Barcelona open talks with Liverpool target

Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Burnley at Elland Road on January 2, 2022 in Leeds, England.

La Liga heavyweights Barcelona have reportedly held discussions over a possible move for Raphinha, a target for Liverpool, with his agent Deco.

According to reputed Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona and Deco have held talks about a possible move in the summer transfer window for Raphinha. The Leeds United forward is also a target for several other Premier League clubs, including Liverpool.

Raphinha has established himself as one of the most enterprising attacking players in the Premier League since joining Leeds United from Stade Rennais in October 2020. After steadily growing in stature at Elland Road, the Brazilian international has become a talismanic figure for the Whites this term, contributing heavily to the points they have mustered in a difficult campaign.

The 25-year-old has nine goals and three assists in 27 Premier League appearances this season, with his performances capturing the attention of several high profile clubs across Europe. Two of his prospective suitors are Barcelona and Liverpool.

The interest from Barcelona stems from the uncertainties surrounding the future of Ousmane Dembele. Recent reports have claimed that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner might be open to extending his stay at Camp Nou despite reaching an impasse during contract renewal negotiations with Barcelona.

Barcelona are interested in Raphinha alongside Premier League clubs, including Liverpool [Chelsea wanted him, now in stand-by]. Barça already discussed about Raphinha with Deco. 🇧🇷 #FCB

No talks yet with Leeds – as price depends on their PL future and potential buy out clauses.

— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 14, 2022

But the 24-year-old is set to become a free agent unless talks reopen between the two parties, thereby explaining Barcelona’s eagerness to sign a wide-attacker like Raphinha. But the Blaugrana will have overcome stiff competition from Liverpool to secure the services of the Leeds United ace.

Liverpool could be forced to delve into the market for a wide-attacker in the summer transfer window if they cannot reach an agreement with Mohamed Salah over a bumper new contract. With Sadio Mane also having a little over a year left in his deal, the Reds need to keep their options open, making Raphinha a viable target.

As per Fabrizio Romano, Barcelona and Deco have held initial talks to discuss the possibility of a summer move. Deco is coincidentally Barcelona’s scout in South America and shares good relations with the Catalan club.

Recent reports have claimed that Raphinha is uninterested in signing a new contract with Leeds. A summer exit from Elland Road to join either Liverpool or Barcelona could thus be on the cards, with a transfer becoming even likelier if Leeds cannot avoid relegation..

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