Barcelona are working on the signing of Leeds United winger Raphinha, who the club see as the ideal replacement for Ousmane Dembele, who is out of contract in June.

There has already been contact between the two clubs. It can be confirmed that Barca have made a first offer of 35 million euros to sign the Brazil international, who also has an Italian passport and won’t count as a non-EU player.

Barca want to strengthen their attack this signing. Raphinha is a strategic signing, not just to take Dembele’s place but also as a significant investment in the forward line.

With the signing of Erling Haaland looking hard due to the money involved, the club, in collaboration with coach Xavi Hernandez, will focus their attention on the versatile Leeds winger. General manager Mateu Alemany and sporting advisor Jordi Cruyff are working on the negotiations to reach an agreement with the Premier League side as soon as possible.

Raphinha has been the standout performer for Leeds United since arriving from Stade Rennais in October 2020. While the numbers will not do justice to his impact, the 25-year-old has been one of the biggest game-changers in the Premier League in the past couple of years.

Raphinha’s trickery and pace with the ball at his feet make him a tough player to handle for opposition defences. And his goalscoring exploits on top of that have alerted various clubs across Europe. Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Liverpool have all been recently linked with the Brazilian winger, who reportedly has an 84 million euros release clause in his Leeds contract.

The Brazilian international has been particularly impressive in the ongoing campaign, amassing nine goals and three assists in 27 Premier League appearances. But after singlehandedly leading Leeds United’s bid to avoid relegation, Raphinha could depart Elland Road in the summer transfer window, with Barcelona and Liverpool keen on signing him.

With Ousmane Dembele’s Barcelona future up in the air amid his latest demands to pen a renewal, the Blaugrana must keep their options open, making Raphinha a viable target. The La Liga heavyweights have thus tabled a 35 million euros offer to Leeds United for the 25-year-old attacker, although they will also need to be wary of the looming threat of Liverpool.

The Reds are concerned over Mohamed Salah’s long-term future, as the Egyptian attacker is not interested in signing their latest contract renewal offer. And Raphinha is a like-for-like option to fill the void that Salah could leave behind him if he chooses to depart Liverpool in the summer transfer window.

Barca have moved ahead of Bayern Munich and Liverpool in the race for Raphinha, who is represented by Deco, while Chelsea have slipped away due to the uncertainty around the club.