The Brazilian only arrived at the Ligue 1 outfit from Sporting in 2019, but promptly found himself shipped out to Elland Road after just one year
Leeds United winger Raphinha has opened up on his move from Rennes during the off-season, admitting that he was disappointed by the Ligue 1 club’s decision to sell him to the Premier League outfit without his prior knowledge.
The Brazilian, who had only joined Rennes ahead of the 2019-20 campaign from Portuguese side Sporting CP, played a major part in helping to guide the club to a top-three finish and Champions League football for the first time in their history.
Yet, despite eight goals and seven assists in his maiden campaign, the 23-year-old was sold to Leeds for a reported fee of £17 million ($22m) in early October, and for what was reported to be less than he was originally bought for.
Speaking out on his switch to Elland Road – where he has gradually established himself as a core member of Marcelo Bielsa’s newly-promoted Whites squad – Raphinha has acknowledged that he had little forewarning of the move.
“I learned on the Saturday [October 3, two days before his move], when I joined the rest of the squad for training, that Rennes had accepted an offer for me,” Raphinha, who signed a four-year contract, told ESPN Brazil.
“I was a little surprised, because I was just finishing my debut season in France. We had started the season well in the league and I was already thinking of playing my first Champions League.”
Raphinha acknowledged that the saga – though quickly resolved and executed – left him with a bitter taste, after Rennes moved to quickly replace him with Jeremy Doku, with the winger adding that he had been previously told he would only be sold for a high price tag.
“They told me that they would not want to sell me for less than €60m (£55m/$73m),” he noted. “Knowing that the club accepted the offer, no more and no less, without telling me, I felt devalued.
“The offer was less than what they had spent to recruit me. It made it clear to me that I was not part of the plans of the club and the coach. They just decided to sell me.”