West Ham now find themselves in the middle of a new transfer triangle with Leeds and Barcelona over Raphinha and Spaniard Adama Traore.
West Ham were reportedly seriously keen to sign Leeds United’s Brazilian ace Raphinha during the January transfer window.
The likes of Sky Sports claimed that the Hammers wanted to sign the brilliant Leeds ace.
And a number of sources reported West Ham saw a bid of £50m turned down by Leeds during the last knockings of the window (90 Min).
Marcelo Bielsa brought the 25-year-old to Leeds in the summer of 2020 for around £17 million and he has established himself as one of the best players outside the top six.
West Ham’s big rivals in any bid for Raphinha are Barcelona, who have also been linked with the attacker since January.
An update on the situation from both The Athletic and Football Espana recently gave West Ham hope as Leeds set out a £60m transfer fee which cast doubt over a move to Barcelona – who are working under restricted transfer spending.
The fee is just £10m more than West Ham reportedly bid in January.
West Ham now look to be in the middle of a new transfer triangle with Leeds and Barcelona over Raphinha and Spaniard Traore.
According to Diario Sport and Football Espana, it is ‘all but certain’ that Raphinha will leave Leeds this summer.
But the reports state that whether the Brazilian will join Barcelona remains very much ‘unknown’.
Key to what now looks to be an intriguing transfer triangle is Wolves-owned winger Traore – himself a former West Ham target.
According to Diario Sport and Football Espana Leeds want Traore as Raphinha’s replacement.
But given he is owned by Wolves that does not give Barcelona any extra leverage.
And the reports make clear that Barca will definitely not be taking up their £25m option to buy Traore after his short loan spell.
So if Barcelona cannot afford the asking price on Raphinha’s head – as is alleged – and Leeds can set up a deal to sign Traore, then West Ham could have hope of getting a deal done.
That’s IF the Hammers hierarchy show some ambition and pay the asking price.
And as West Ham fans know that is a big ‘if’.
What a signing Raphinha would be for West Ham. And Leeds will surely be tempted by the potential to cash in on the forward and replace him with one of the quickest players in world football for less than half the price.