Raphinha is in talks with Barcelona over a summer move, GOAL can confirm, with the Brazil winger having so far ignored Leeds United's calls to discuss a potential contract extension.
Leeds spent £17 million ($22m) to bring in Raphinha from Rennes in October 2020 and he quickly established himself as a key player during the club's first season back in the Premier League after a 16-year absence.
The 25-year-old has been equally mpressive in 2021-22 as he's taken on the burden of being the Whites' main attacking threat amid Patrick Bamford's injury struggles, attracting attention from a number of top clubs in the process.
What's the situation?
Raphinha's contract at Elland Road is due to expire in 2024, but Leeds have been trying to tie him down to fresh terms since late last year.
GOAL understands that the Brazilian has yet to respond to the club's approach and has initiated transfer talks with Barcelona through his agent Deco - who enjoyed a stellar career at Camp Nou as a player.
Deco is the Blaugrana's representative for all dealings involving South American players and is now working on finalising a permanent transfer for Raphinha in the summer window.
What have Barca said?
GOAL has learned that Deco is in the process of sorting out personal terms for Raphinha with Barca president Joan Laporta, who has publicly expressed an interest in the former Rennes star.
"Raphinha is a player we really like and it's true that Deco's his agent. We've very good relationships", Laporta told RAC 1 earlier this week.
"I want to clarify that Deco's not paid by the club. He will just help us because he dominates the Brazilian market."
The likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain have also been linked with Raphinha, but Barca are leading the race for his signature.
Reports in Spain suggest Raphinha has a €75m (£63m/$83m) release clause, while there is also a €25m (£21m/$28m) clause in his contract that will become active if Leeds are relegated.