'Leeds wanted' - Raphinha agent speaks out on Elland Road departure and makes Chelsea 'bigger bid' claim

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Raphinha left Leeds United for Barcelona in the summer of 2022

Deco, the agent of former Leeds United forward Raphinha, has insisted he 'didn't push hard' for the Brazilian to leave Elland Road as he provided some insight into the player's move to Barcelona.

Raphinha spent a successful two seasons in West Yorkshire, with Barca paying around £55m for the player in the summer of 2022 after 17 goals and 12 assists in 67 games for the Whites.

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The Brazilian scored from the penalty spot on the final day of the 2021-22 season as Leeds clinched Premier League survival thanks to a 2-1 win at Brentford, with Jack Harrison netting in the 94th minute. Arsenal and Chelsea were also linked with Raphinha ahead of his move to Barcelona, with Deco revealing Chelsea's American owner Todd Boehly held talks over a move and that the Stamford Bridge cub 'really wanted' to sign the player.

However, Raphinha did not push for a move to the Blues and the Brazilian has since revealed he had a number of other offers to leave Leeds but only wanted to depart for Barca, with Deco claiming some clubs had submitted bigger bids than the La Liga sides.

"Actually, I didn’t push hard," he told FourFourTwo. "You know, club presidents don’t usually tell the whole story. Raphinha was very serious and professional with Leeds. 

"He had a clause that if they were relegated, his price would drop to €20m, and he was the best player when Leeds needed him most – he ran the most, worked the hardest, and I, as his agent, would be incapable of influencing any player for my own benefit. 

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"Leeds wanted to sell Raphinha. Then bids came in, even bigger than Barcelona’s. The owner of Chelsea [Todd Boehly] called me and insisted a lot, putting pressure on me – he really wanted to sign Raphinha.  But I didn’t push hard for Raphinha to leave Leeds. It was all by mutual agreement."

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