Leeds United discover Barcelona's true Raphinha transfer intention after €40m offer

Barcelona are yet to bid for Leeds United's Raphinha this summer but have turned their attention to another expensive transfer target

Barcelona insist they hold an interest in Raphinha but are yet to lodge a bid (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Barcelona insist they hold an interest in Raphinha but are yet to lodge a bid (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

The Camp Nou club have lodged a €40m offer for Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski, according to Sky Sports, indicating the team's financial constraints may not be as stringent as initially thought.

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Barcelona's current debt obligation exceeds €1 billion while economic vice president has previously stated this summer that it will take €500 million to 'save' the club's finances.

However, the Catalan side have flirted with the possibility of signing both Polish international Lewandowski and Leeds United's Raphinha.

Barcelona had hoped for Leeds to be relegated in order to purchase the Brazil winger for a knockdown price, but Premier League survival means the 25-year-old will now cost market value.

The LaLiga giants have repeatedly asserted their interest in Leeds' talisman but are yet to launch a bid.

Placing a sizeable offer for Lewandowski before any move for Raphinha outlines Barcelona's true transfer priority.

The club also hope to shave Ousmane Dembele's considerable earnings from their wage bill this summer as the Frenchman looks set to depart Camp Nou at the expiry of his contract.

It is plausible the Catalans will return for Raphinha once re-assessing their finances in the wake of Dembele's departure but the issue of LaLiga's salary cap still remains.

Should Lewandowski arrive, he will likely become one of Barcelona's top earners, meaning the savings made on Dembele's exit will be re-allocated to Lewandowski's deal leaving Barcelona in a similar financial position.

Meanwhile at Leeds, Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim this week that patience is wearing thin over Barcelona's perceived feet-dragging.

Arsenal tabled a low offer for Raphinha earlier this week which was promptly rejected but are expected to return with a second, improved offer.

Barcelona's fresh bid for Lewandowski could subsequently hand the Gunners a clear run at Leeds in negotiations for the Brazilian.