Leeds United transfers state of play - Raphinha race not over, Manchester City business timeframe
Chelsea may be out in front but the race for Leeds United winger Raphinha is not over yet.
Leeds consider themselves to be in a strong position thanks to the offer put forward by the Blues, one that could surpass £60m if the add-ons are fulfilled, and the fact that the phone continues to ring as other clubs express interest and make enquiries.
And with the player still believed to be harbouring hopes that he can make the switch to Barcelona, the Catalan club may yet emerge from their slumber and re-enter the race as a serious runner, though even as fresh reports suggest that Deco has been at Camp Nou for talks, the question mark remains over Barcelona's ability to match Chelsea's bid. The Spanish side have, however, confirmed a deal with Sixth Street to sell 10 per cent of their LaLiga TV rights for €207.5m, for 25 years.
The finish line is not yet in sight but Leeds' July 10 pre-season trip to Australia is just around the bend and although there is currently little expectation that Raphinha will be on the flight to the Gold Coast, the tour may act as a hard deck of sorts for interested clubs and focus minds a little more sharply on getting a deal over the line.
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Arsenal were the first to put a bid on the table for the Brazilian international this summer, although it didn't come close to matching the Whites' valuation of their star attacker. The Gunners' interest is not thought to have gone away.
Unless there is a sudden change, it's likely that Kalvin Phillips will still be the first of the pair to depart Elland Road. The midfielder will imminently return from his summer holiday in order to conclude a move to Manchester City and that could take place either side of the weekend, depending on how quickly it can be finalised.
The other business between the Premier League champions and Leeds is also due to be brought to fruition in the next few days. Darko Gyabi is likely to undergo a medical on Friday ahead of a £5m move from the Etihad and will join up with Jesse Marsch's already-underway pre-season programme in order to begin his fight for a place in the first team squad.
Gyabi, like fellow summer signing Marc Roca, is not seen as the direct replacement for Phillips and Victor Orta, Leeds' director of football, is lining up players for three vacancies in Marsch's team. A defensive midfielder, striker and winger are all on his list and thanks to the money coming their way up front from the two outgoing transfers, Leeds anticipate pulling the trigger on their own squad strengthening once it is clear that the Raphinha deal is nearing its end. Leeds have already spent £50m this summer on a trio of players: Brenden Aaronson from RB Salzburg for a fee in the region of £25m, Rasmus Kristensen from the same Austrian Bundesliga side for around £10m and Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca for £10m.