Barcelona interested in Angel Di Maria as a short-term solution to Raphinha despite Leeds United’s firm stance

Barcelona have started looking for alternatives to Leeds United winger Raphinha according to reports in Spain and could sign Angel Di Maria as a short-term solution. The 34-year-old will be a free agent after exhausting his contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the month, and would like a one-year contract with a European club before ending his career in Argentina.

Barcelona have made Raphinha their priority target for the summer but their negotiations have stalled amid Leeds’ firm stance. Los Blancos have set a price tag of £60-70m and won’t accept any installment offers – demands that a financially-struggling Barcelona may struggle to meet.

And now Spanish release Mundo Deportivo report they can now target free agent Di Maria on a one-year deal, using the former Manchester United man as a stopgap before returning for Raphinha next summer. “Barca won’t go the extra mile to try and retain Dembele and at the moment the option of Raphinha, who was the priority, has been complicated by Leeds’ strong financial claims.” They wrote.

READ MORE: Would cash plus Takumi Minamino for Raphinha be a bargain for Leeds United? Have your say

“That’s why Di María maintains the hope of being able to dress as a Barça player, not even for a season. If confirmed, his signing will come five years after Barça already tried to sign him, then to form a tandem with teammate Leo Messi.

Juventus are also keen to secure the winger’s services but it’s believed the player would prefer a move to Spain and choose Barcelona, ​​should they come for him. The Italian giants are also looking to offer a two-year deal, while Di Maria only wants a year before returning home.

The move would make sense for Barcelona, ​​who appear unable or unwilling to meet Leeds’ demands for Raphinha. If they can use a quality free agent for a season and hope the 25-year-old declines a new contract, then Elland Road’s bargaining power will fade as his player nears the end of his term. contract in 2024.

The Spanish club’s director of football is expected to travel to the UK this week to discuss the move with Leeds officials, and the reported sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United for around £62million could directly fund a deal. But Leeds’ stance appears to remain firm on its talisman, with a bargain or no deal as the only options.

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