Saudi bid revealed as Newcastle United make major transfer decision on former Leeds United star

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The latest transfer news from Newcastle United as the Magpies look to boost Eddie Howe's squad during the summer.

Newcastle United have reportedly made a major decision over their interest in one long-term target.

The Magpies have been repeatedly linked with a move for Brazil winger Raphinha ever since a Saudi-led consortium completed a £340m takeover at St James Park in October 2021. The former Sporting CP and Rennes star was initially linked with a move to Tyneside just months later but remained with United's then-Premier League rivals Leeds United as they fought a successful battle against relegation from the top flight.

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Despite Newcastle reportedly reigniting their interest in the talented winger, Raphinha made a high profile move to Barcelona during the following summer and enjoyed a successful first season at the Camp Nou as the Catalan giants saw off the challenge of deadly rivals Real Madrid to become La Liga champions. The Brazilian made a major impact on Barca's success as he scored ten goals and provided 12 assists in 50 appearances in all competitions - but links with a move back to the Premier League were never too far away from the headlines.

Those links remain alive after Raphinha endured a difficult second year with Barcelona - although the 27-year-old denied any thoughts of leaving Catalonia earlier this season. However, Spanish news outlet Sport have delivered a major update on the winger's future and have revealed Newcastle's stance on any possible deal.

A report released over the weekend has stated Newcastle's 'very serious difficulties' with Financial Fair Play regulations have meant they have now withdrawn their interest in Raphinha - but the former Leeds man could still be on the move after the same outlet suggested Saudi Pro League club Al-Hilal were ready to partner the winger with former United striker Aleksandar Mitrovic and ex Wolves midfielder Ruben Neves. Confusingly, despite stating Barca would have accepted an offer of around £53m, Sport also suggests Al-Hilal are ready to offer an initial £72m, with another £14m following in potential bonuses.

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