Barcelona sign Raphinha from Leeds United
Barcelona, July 13 (IANS) FC Barcelona and Leeds United Football Club have reached an agreement in principle for the transfer of Raphinha, the Spanish club confirmed in a statement on Wednesday.
Raphinha was set for a move to Chelsea before Catalan club joined the chase and he will become a new Barcelona player as soon as he passes the medical.
Leeds coach Jesse Marsch had earlier said, "I'm hopeful for him to get this deal done because I know it's his dream to play for Barcelona."
This was after the Brazilian had decided to opt out of Leeds' pre-season tour.
Born on 14 December 1996 Raphael Dias Belloli, better known as 'Raphina', is a winger who is excellent in one on ones, taking on defenders being a key part of his game. His first club in Europe was Portuguese side Vitòria Guimaraes from where he moved on to Sporting Clube de Portugal for 6.5 million euros.
After making his mark in Portugal, French club Stade de Reims paid 21 million euros for the winger. A successful spell in Ligue 1 attracted the attention of Leeds United coach Marcelo Bielsa and Raphina made his move to the Premier League.
In his first season under the Argentine coach Raphina made 30 appearances, scoring six goals and providing nine assists. The following season, in a struggling Leeds outfit, the Brazilian still managed 11 goals and three assists to help the Yorkshire club avoid relegation.