Gemma Soler explains why Xavi wanted Barcelona to sign Raphinha from Leeds United. (0:50)
Barcelona have announced they have reached an “agreement in principle” to sign Raphinha, provided the Leeds United winger passes a medical.
The Catalan club confirmed the news in a statement Tuesday, beating Chelsea to the signing of the Brazil attacker.
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Sources did not confirm the total cost of the deal, but the fee is thought to be worth over €60 million including add-ons.
ESPN revealed in June that Leeds had also accepted an offer from Chelsea for Raphinha, 25, but the player’s desire to move to Barca has allowed the Catalan club to win the race for his signature.
There was also interest from Arsenal, but the Gunners never returned after having an initial bid turned down by Leeds in June.
Barca’s agreement with Leeds comes following weeks of negotiations, with the Premier League side pushing for a deal similar to the one they agreed with Chelsea worth in excess of €70m.
Sources close to the negotiations previously explained that Barca’s initial offers were not deemed acceptable because they were add-on heavy and in several installments.
However, with Raphinha prepared to wait for Barca, and his agent, Deco, holding a series of meetings with the club’s sporting director, Mateu Alemany, to help unblock the situation, the two teams were able to strike a deal.