FC Barcelona are finally set to reach a formal agreement with Leeds United to sign Raphinha, according to reports.

Brazil's Raphinha celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on February 1, 2022. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)
Brazil’s Raphinha celebrates after scoring against Paraguay during the South American qualification football match for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 at the Mineirao stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on February 1, 2022. (Photo by DOUGLAS MAGNO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Daily Mail reported on Sunday that Barcelona appeared to have won the race for Arsenal-linked Raphinha in a deal worth £63m.

Fabrizio Romano writes that Raphinha feels the deal is imminent, after Barcelona made a verbal offer of €72m (£61m) guaranteed. Leeds are expected to accept when the bid is made official.

The Athletic are slightly more cautious in their wording of the story, but they confirm that Leeds and Barcelona are now edging closer to a deal, with growing confidence on all sides of an agreement.

Positive discussions over the weekend seemingly signalled an end to the saga, after Leeds left Raphinha out of their pre-season tour of Australia.

Chelsea have had a deal in place with Leeds for weeks, but Raphinha held out for the move to Barcelona, which finally looks to be going through.

Leeds United's Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United’s Brazilian midfielder Raphinha Dias Belloli celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Brentford and Leeds United at Brentford Community Stadium in London on May 22, 2022. (Photo by ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal have realistically been out of the race since Chelsea’s bid was accepted, with Goal in Brazil reporting that there have been no talks between the Gunners and Raphinha’s camp since then.

The Gunners weren’t completely ruling out reentering the race, especially with all the uncertainty in negotiations. But the closer Barcelona get, the less likely that is.

Barcelona and Raphinha have already agreed a salary of €6m net per season, with personal terms reportedly finalised months ago. That’s the move he wants, so if Barcelona can draw up an agreement with Leeds, no one else has a chance.

Arsenal fans will likely be pleased it’s Barcelona set to sign the winger rather than Chelsea.

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