Leeds United boss breaks silence on Newcastle United 'target' not joining pre-season tour claims

Leeds United boss Jesse Marsch admitted that he is not certain where Raphinha’s future lies amid transfer speculation.

Reports from Marca emerged this week claiming that the Brazilian forward would not be joining Leeds on their pre-season tour of Australia in a bid to force through a move to Barcelona.

But the 25-year-old winger has been subject to plenty of transfer interest this summer, with Chelsea also competing for his signature.

Newcastle United were also understood to be interested in the Leeds player but reports from Spain suggested that he has ‘turned down an offer’ from Eddie Howe’s side.

Leeds United warms up prior to kick off of the Premier League match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on May 15, 2022 in Leeds, England. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

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Raphinha scored 11 goals in 35 games for Leeds last season as they survived in the Premier League on the final day thanks to a 2-1 win over Brentford in which he scored a penalty.

Raphinha missed Leeds’ 4-0 pre-season friendly win over Blackpool on Thursday night.

After the match, Marsch told The Athletic when asked about whether Raphinha will be taking part in Leeds’ pre-season tour: “My guess is, I don’t know. We just have to wait and see what happens in the next couple of days.

“There’s urgency from his end, I think, to come up with a solution. We have to in the next couple of days see how things stand and see how we go.

“It hasn’t been an easy time for him this summer. Things have come and gone and there have been a lot of little discussions. Right now he’s our player.”

Raphinha has returned to train with Leeds this week but there are doubts as to how long that will continue with the squad flying out to Australia to continue their preparations next week.

“He showed up today and trained with everybody, he had such a good attitude,” Marsch added.

"We had a very open and honest conversation about while he’s here he’s part of us, and then we’ll see what happens. It’s still a long way to go in the transfer window.

“I know he has hopes and dreams. I know he loves this team and this club and he loves being here. We’ll see how things progress day by day.”