Barcelona officially announced the signing of Brazil winger Raphinha from Leeds United.
The club released a statement confirming they reached an agreement in principle pending the outcome of a medical.
Somehow, someway, Barcelona managed to stave off competition from Chelsea who had already agreed with Leeds on a transfer. But Raphinha’s goal was to play for Barcelona. His desire, along with the help of his agent and former Barça player Deco, was instrumental in his arrival to the Catalan giants.
While Barcelona did not release the transfer fee, the club reportedly paid €58 million with add-ons that could see that figure rise to €67 million. The 25-year-old is already in Barcelona ahead of his medical.
The club had been interested in Raphinha for a while. They were waiting to see whether or not Leeds were relegated to start negotiations. Things became more complicated once Leeds were safe as it meant the lower release clause of €25 million if Leeds were demoted was no longer valid.
The Brazilian shined under Marcelo Bielsa and was a crucial part as to why they were able to remain in the Premier League under Jesse Marsch.
His addition gives Barça manager Xavi Hernandez another natural winger and someone who can complement Ousmane Dembele who has agreed on a new deal to stay. That official announcement is expected soon.
Some speculated Raphinha’s signing depended on Dembele but that has not been the case. Both will be Barcelona players come the start of the new season and they’ll be important parts of the sporting project going forward.
Raphina’s time under Bielsa should mean the Brazilian is ahead of the curve in terms of being able to integrate into the squad and understand what Xavi wants from him.
He’ll certainly be more of a threat when it comes to goalscoring. He finished last season with 11 goals and 3 assists, which would have had him tied with Memphis Depay as Barcelona’s top scorer.