Done deal: Barcelona has signed Raphina’s “Replacement”

Leeds United winger Raphinha has been linked with Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool in recent weeks, but Jurgen Klopp’s side are said to suffer a blow in their pursuit for the Brazilian.

Liverpool are set to miss out on the signing of Leeds United winger Raphinha this summer after ramping up their interest in the Brazilian interest.

Jurgen Klopp’s side are set to lose Sadio Mane this summer after the Senegalese winger outlines his intentions to depart Anfield this summer, with German side Bayern Munich heavily linked with sealing a deal for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations winner.

With Mane set to leave Merseyside, Liverpool had stepped up their efforts to sign the 25-year-old as a potential replacement, with out-of-favour Liverpool winger Takumi Minamino potentially going the other way as part of the deal.

However, reports from Spanish outlet Sport claim that Raphinha’s agent has informed Liverpool he will prioritise interest from Barcelona over any other club this summer. He has parked their offer to one side leaving Klopp’s hopes of signing the winger seriously diminished.

Raphinha’s mind could be swayed by his agent, Deco. The Portuguese ex-footballer played 161 times for Barca during a four-year spell between 2004 and 2008, scoring 20 goals and winning two La Liga titles and the UEFA Champions League.

The report claims that Leeds chief executive Angus Kinnear is now asking for €65million (£55.4m) to part company with the Brazilian this summer, while The Mirror reported on Saturday that a deal could cost nearer to £60m.

Raphinha has spent the past two seasons at Leeds since signing Rennes, being a regular feature in both of the White’s Premier League campaigns. Since his move to England, the Brazilian has scored 17 goals and provided 12 assists in 65 Premier League appearances.

Last season, his goals proved to be crucial for the Whites in their survival from relegation on the final day of the Premier League campaign with a 2-1 away at Brentford. Raphinha scored a crucial penalty during the win at the London Community Stadium.

Raphinha’s goals directly led to nine of Leeds’ 38 points (23.7%) last season and should Jesse Marsch’s side lose him this summer, it would take a significant signing to fill the shoes left by the eight-time Brazil international.

The winger is currently on international duty with Brazil and won his ninth cap for his country during a 1-0 friendly win over Japan on Monday afternoon.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar scored the only goal of the game from the penalty spot with 13 minutes to go. Raphinha played 63 minutes before being replaced by Manchester City ’s Gabriel Jesus.

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