Barcelona to complete Raphinha & Ousmane Dembele deals after activating 'second financial lever'
Barcelona are set to finalise the signings of Raphinha and Ousmane Dembele after triggering the 'second lever' of their refinancing plans, 90min understands.
Barça sold a percentage of their future TV rights to US investment group Sixth Street earlier this summer and 90min has been told that the same group are again providing the funds in exchange for more of their media rights.
The 'second lever', as it was christened by club president Joan Laporta, has now been triggered and will bring in nearly £280m in funds in the coming week. The first trench of money from Sixth Street allowed many of their debts to be settled and balanced their books, while the second windfall will enable them to go ahead with their major summer transfer plans.
Barcelona wanted to finalise their new investment ahead of their pre-season tour of America which begins this weekend. And these finances will allow Xavi to include Dembele, who will re-sign on a new deal, and Raphinha on this tour.
Both deals are already in place, as 90min revealed at the weekend, with only medicals needed to secure the moves. Leeds were informed on Tuesday that Barça's finances were now in relative order and they were able to finalise the structure of the deal, which will include the Catalan club paying the transfer fee in three instalments.
90min understands Raphinha, who remained in England when Leeds flew to Australia for their pre-season tour at the weekend, has now been given permission to travel to Catalonia.
Listen now to 90min's Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott Saunders, Graeme Bailey, Harry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Chelsea turning to Antony and Serge Gnabry as Barcelona close in on Raphinha, why Manchester United have still not signed Frenkie de Jong, Manchester City's pursuit of Marc Cucurella and their interest in Jules Kounde and Pau Torres. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.
If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!
Barça hope that Dembele and Raphinha will be joined on the tour by Robert Lewandowski. They have been locked in talks with Bayern Munich for weeks over a deal for Polish superstar, who returned to Germany on Tuesday to report for pre-season training.
Bayern have demanded around €60m for the 33-year-old, but the sticking point has been how much Barcelona would and could pay up front. But with more money set to be pumped into the club, sources at Camp Nou believe that a deal is now close to being agreed.
Another deal Barça are also closing on is for long-term Chelsea target Jules Kounde. Xavi's side have made a breakthrough in talks with Sevilla and are set to take a player in exchange, with Memphis Depay believed to be the makeweight included in the deal.