The Brazilian was not a priority sale but the interest in him has changed things
One of the big sales that Barcelona can close this summer is underway. Raphinha is on track to leave for the Premier League with several clubs very interested in bidding for him and with the OK of the player and his entourage to return to England to have more sporting prominence.
Moving on the Brazilian was not one of Barça's priorities this summer, but they are increasingly clear that he will be the player for whom they can get the most money. The Blaugrana will listen to offers of around 80 million euros and it looks like they are going to arrive.
Operation on track
The idea was to try to close one or two big transfers before June 30 to bring in cash and reduce the wage bill. The main problem is that the players who are not playing too many minutes are not attracting interest in the market and Raphinha had already received enquiries about a possible transfer. Initially, the player was reluctant to leave, but in recent weeks he has changed his mind and things are moving fast. There are two clubs, Chelsea and Newcastle, who want to open formal negotiations immediately and both Barça and the player will negotiate with the aim of getting as much money as possible.
Barça signed Raphinha last summer for 58 million euros plus nine million euros in variables, although most of the money has not been amortised due to his short stay at the club. A part of that payment has been amortised, though, so if Barça manage to sell for 80 million euros or more, they will make a significant profit on the deal. And the idea is that everything can be finalised before the end of the financial year on June 30, as stated in the viability plan that the club has presented to LaLiga with the aim of being able to register new signings.
Barça are interested in the opening the bidding between Chelsea and Newcastle to get as much money as possible, although in the end it will be the player who will end up choosing his destination. Newcastle will play in the Champions League next season in all probablity, so it could be possible to sign a player who wants to play a much more important role on the pitch.
Raphinha is clear that next season will be complicated for him with the possible arrival of Leo Messi and the continuity of Ousmane Dembélé, a player who is a priority in Xavi Hernández's plans. The Brazilian has been given a lot of minutes due to Ousmane's injuries, but he knows that he will not be a starter in the important games.
Barça will wait until they win the league title to start negotiating, although it is clear at the club that the sale of the Brazilian will go ahead. Ansu Fati should be next, although the academy graduate does not seem to want to leave Barça.
Deco flying in
Deco, Raphinha's agent, played a key role in getting the Brazilian to sign for Barça last summer despite the big offer made by Chelsea. The former Blaugrana player has a great relationship with the top management at the Catalan club and will also facilitate things to achieve a very high transfer that will be key to be able to balance the numbers. Deco will also talk to Barça president Joan Laporta about the possibility of taking over the club's sporting management after Mateu Alemany's departure to Aston Villa.