Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has admitted he felt ashamed with how the sale of Raphinha played out in the end, after agreeing a deal with Chelsea.
The Brazilian star ended up moving to Barcelona after the Catalan club eventually came up with enough money to compete with the deal from Stamford Bridge, with the 25-year-old holding out until they did so.
Italian Radrizzani says that he had given his word to Chelsea counterpart Todd Boehly and it was “disrespectful” to the American that he had to go back and tell him the deal would in fact not go through.
Speaking to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, in a clip posted to his Twitter page, he said: “For me it was done, the deal with Chelsea. When I have a deal, my word is my word.
“I felt ashamed to go back to Todd Boehly, the owner of Chelsea, and change the position. It was really, for me, disrespectful and not the right thing to do.
“But I didn’t have a choice.”
On the Barcelona’s reliability in terms of paying, he told Phil Hay: “Look, I tell you, the second of September. If not we will have a global case on all of the media in the world about Barcelona.
“So I don’t know.”
The suspicions around what is happening at the Camp Nou during this transfer window are growing across world football, with the club in huge debt but continuing to win transfer battles.
United clearly aren’t entirely confident that the payment will arrive on time, as they inserted a late penalty clause into the deal that will entitle them to more money if deadlines aren’t met.
The Raphinha saga ensured that the club’s star ended up leaving under slightly sour circumstances, having ended the season celebrating among the fans at the Brentford Community Stadium.
Ultimately while the player got what he had wanted all along, and somehow so did Barcelona, the Whites owner clearly didn’t and nor did Chelsea.
Fans will be far more ambivalent about that, since it is undoubtedly preferable for the winger to be playing in La Liga rather than the Premier League, as long as the money does arrive.
It was probably unwise of Radrizzani to give Boehly his word if it wasn’t actually a situation he full control over, but he won’t be the only club executive around Europe left feeling uncomfortable by the actions of Barcelona in the transfer market.
In other Leeds United news, there are problems behind the scenes relating to manager Jesse Marsch according to one divisive figure.