Barcelona transfer news: Xavi wants to sign Rafinha from Leeds, Ousmane Dembele could stay

Barcelona are interested in signing Leeds winger Rafinha this summer, Sky Sports News has learned.

The club are hoping a strong relationship with their agent Deku, their former player, will help convince him to join them at Premier League clubs.

Negotiations between Leeds and Rafinha for a new contract have been ongoing since last year, but he has yet to sign the terms of the offer.

In January, there was a lot of interest in him from other leading English teams, but this did not happen.

His current deal runs until 2024, so Barca will have to pay a transfer fee to get him whether Leeds stay in the Premier League or not.

Jesse Marsh’s team is in deep relegation, seven points above the relegation zone with eight games remaining but having played at least one game more than those below them.

Barcelona, ​​whose significant financial position has improved somewhat thanks to a new sponsorship deal with Spotify, expects Raphinha’s valuation to drop if Leeds falls.

Rafinha scores from the penalty spot for Leeds

The Catalans are hoping to have a limited amount of cash for some purchases this summer, and they hope that this will be supplemented by the sale of players.

Ivory Coast midfielder Franck Kessy has already agreed to join Barça on a free transfer this summer from AC Milan.

And Barça have registered their interest in Paulo Dybala now that he has decided not to renew his contract with Juventus and will become a free agent on 1 July.

Dembele could stay at Barcelona

The door has also been re-opened for Ousmane Dembele to negotiate a new contract at the Camp Nou following his return to normal under Xavi.

Vice President Rafa Yuste said this week that “if Dembele is still comfortable, we can meet with his agents and he can stay” as his current contract expires on June 30.

It’s a change of tone for the club after they tried to pull him out in January amid a stalemate and an offer that included a massive pay cut, and it came at the same time the club signed Ferran Torres from Manchester City.

Dembele was on the outskirts of Barcelona.
Dembele was on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Despite this agreement, Dembele and his representatives are ready to perhaps meet with the Barca hierarchy and listen to a new proposal, because nothing has been agreed on the future of the player and other clubs so far.

He is free to communicate with clubs outside of Spain, with Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea showing interest in January.

The French international is once again enjoying his football and boasting some of the best attacking records in Europe. Dembele has the best assists per minute ratio in the top 5 leagues this season, the most assists in Europe since the start of the year and second in La Liga all season.

English clubs chase after Gavi and Araujo

Premier League clubs are also reportedly monitoring ongoing contract disputes between Barça and players Ronald Araujo and Gavi, as well as Dembele.

Centre-back Araujo’s current contract expires in 2024 and he is currently one of the lowest paid players on the team despite establishing himself as first choice alongside Gerard Piqué this season.

Barça have reportedly made a final “take it or leave it” offer for the 23-year-old that will triple his current B-level salary, but Spanish sources said. sky sports news that Premier League clubs would be willing to pay him more.

Barcelona's Ronald Araujo reacts after debut at Atlético Madrid
The reaction of Ronald Araujo from Barcelona after the first match against Atlético

The 17-year-old midfield sensation Gavi finds himself in a similar situation, with just over two years left on his youth contract and a dispute over his first professional contract at the club.

He is said to be valued by Barcelona as a youth team that has recently made it to the first team, but the player believes he should be on par with the regular Spanish internationals he has become since his debut with the dynamic young Spanish side. October. .

Gavi (AP)
Gavi (AP)

It is also believed that the Gavi situation is being closely watched by Europe’s top clubs, including in the Premier League, although Liverpool have no intention of signing him despite reports in Spain that they are interested.

Barcelona vice-president Yuste said this week: “We are working hard to keep Gavi and Araujo at the club. I am optimistic. Here the players are happy. »

Redknapp: Gavi is the new Iniesta

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Jamie Redknapp was full of praise for the performance of 17-year-old Gavi, the sensation, in the first half of Spain’s Nations League defeat to France.

Jamie Redknapp of Sky Sports speaking in the Nations League final in October 2021:

“Spain has a player in Gavi, I want to see his birth certificate! You can’t be this good at 17, I’m sorry. He is absolutely phenomenal.

“One of the best midfielders I have seen live is Iniesta. [because of] how he returned the ball half a turn, just like [Gavi does]. He let the ball past his body and the players tried to get close to him, and despite being small, he had a big body and big legs, he managed to roll with the players. He had the built-in mirrors that all great linebackers have.

“He’s so talented, this boy [Gavi]. He is brave, he handles the ball well, he has brilliant positions. It’s so good, so good. I am 17 and I play in such a company, I am delighted with him and love to watch this child play.

“He has everything, he has absolutely everything. He has a body. What a joy and what a player. »