When Raphinha was in the stands on Sunday celebrating Leeds United securing Premier League safety, fans could almost hear the groans emanating from Catalonia as Barcelona faced up to the prospect of having to actually offer a reasonable fee for the Brazilian.
Raphinha moving to the Nou Camp could be a move that works for everyone. Leeds supporters have always accepted that his departure is coming at some stage. And obviously, moving to the Catalan giants would see the magician move away from the Premier League.
But the amount of reports on Raphinha and Barcelona have become almost infuriating over the last few months. There have been claims that he has already agreed a five-year deal ahead of the summer.
And crucially, he could have moved for a figure that would have added insult to injury if Leeds were relegated. His contract reportedly included a relegation release clause of just £21 million.
Barcelona preparing insulting first offer for Raphinha?
It would have been humiliating to watch our talisman leave for that amount. But that is not something Leeds have to worry about anymore, right?
Well, according to Mundo Deportivo on Tuesday, Barcelona believe that they will still not need to pay much more than £21 million for Raphinha.
The Times swiftly suggested that Leeds’ valuation is much closer to £50 million. The Whites meanwhile, have already offered Raphinha a new contract.
Of course, few fans will refuse to allow themselves to consider the idea that Raphinha could yet stay. If he is going to go, £50 million seems much more like the sort of demand Leeds should have.
Certainly, a £21 million valuation is a joke. It would have been an embarrassing figure if Leeds went down. There would probably be riots therefore, if Andrea Radrizzani considered a similar amount now that the Whites have not had to give up their seat at English football’s top table ahead of next season.
Obviously, Leeds can hardly control what is being printed in Spain. They would have probably been left as baffled at the £21 million reports as the supporters.
Perhaps Barcelona are looking to put a bit of pressure on.
Ultimately, Barcelona may well get their man. But if anything, they are only likely to annoy Raphinha if they turn up with an opening offer of £21 million.
Leeds have made some mistakes in the market over the last few years. But surely Victor Orta can be trusted here to laugh Barcelona out of the room if they are genuinely thinking about making such a bid.