Former Leeds United star is ‘main priority’ for Newcastle United after shock summer move
The Magpies have been linked with a shock move for one former Whites star.
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Newcastle United are reportedly preparing a bid to bring former Leeds United star Raphinha back to the Premier League during the summer transfer window.
The Brazil international became a key figure for the Whites during a two-year stay at Elland Road and was integral in their successful battle against relegation from the Premier League last season. The 26-year-old winger scored 11 goals and provided three assists as Leeds narrowly voided a return to the Championship on the final day of the campaign.
Raphinha’s form captured the attention of several clubs around Europe with the likes of Bayern Munich and Arsenal both heavily linked with a move for the Whites winger - but it was La Liga giants Barcelona that tempted Leeds with a reported offer of around £51m.
His form at the Camp Nou have been impressive after Raphinha netted seven goals and provided nine assists in 35 appearacnes in all competitions as he put Barca on their way to what looks like a successful push for the La Liga title. The Catalans are also well-placed to qualify for the final of the Copa del Rey after claiming a 1-0 win at arch rivals Real Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final on Thursday night.
Speaking last month after Raphinha scored in a 2-1 win at Real Betis, Barca manager Xavi commented on his form and a possible move away from Spain, saying: "(He) has been good, not only for his goal, but also with his defensive work. He’s a criticised player, but he does a lot and we value him a lot. We will always support Raphinha — he’s the future of Barcelona."
However, Spanish outlet Sport have now claimed an incident in the closing stages of Barcelona’s Europa League exit at the hands of Manchester United has forced the winger to consider his long-term future at the Camp Nou. Raphinha was substituted in both legs of the round-of-16 tie, despite providing a useful outlet for his side as they looked to keep alive their hopes of securing a treble this season.
The report has now suggested Newcastle will make the winger ‘one of their main objectives’ this season and are looking to ‘incorporate him into their squad and make a quality leap in their team’ by offering him a route back to the Premier League at the end of the season.