As Leeds United and Manchester City took centre stage at Elland Road, a deal for Rennes winger Raphinha was in the works, with a deal reportedly agreed for an initial fee of £15.4 million with add-ons worth up to an extra £5.5 million for the French side.
Developments were quick overnight after Leeds’ 1-1 draw against Man City, with reports of a bid coming from Goal, who reported the initial offer was lower than the price Rennes paid for the 23-year old last summer (€18 million).
Now, TuttoMercato and TVDelloSport journalist Gianluigi Longari reports that a deal has been agreed between the two clubs, with the transfer accumulating to a total of £21 million, not much more than what The Whites were prepared to pay for Bayern’s Michael Cuisance before the deal broke down.
Raphinha is a fast winger who loves to have the ball and run at defenders, with plenty flair and quality in his dribbling attributes. But it’s not pretty skills that wins over Bielsa, it’s end product. The Brazilian bagged nine goals and assisted five in all competitions last season, as Rennes booked themselves a Champions League spot for the new campaign.
This deal comes as a surprise to many, who saw Raphinha as a key asset to the French side, but have been reportedly open to offers for their star players as they look to balance the books with their new signings and future targets.
Raphinha – O brasileiro fez sua temporada de estreia na França pelo Rennes e se destacou na boa campanha do time na parte ofensiva e de criação de jogadas pelos lados de campo.— Canal Grandes Ligas ⚽ (@grandesligas_) May 4, 2020
43 passes decisivos
8 grandes chances criadas pic.twitter.com/eA1qME482i
Leeds will have to work fast to get this one over the European deadline on October 5th, as the window closes at 11pm. However, if this report is true they’re already close to getting this one over the line, with The Whites having ample time to sort out any domestic transfers they might fancy doing after Monday’s foreign deadline.