In an interview with ESPN Brazil, Raphinha made a point of making an update on his departure from Stade Rennais in early October. The Brazilian winger assures that his former leaders did not seek to retain him at all, contrary to what they may have said.
His departure could have surprised, even frankly disappointed the Rennes supporters. On October 5, in the final straight of the transfer window, Raphinha left the Breton club after only one season to join Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds in the Premier League.
The 23-year-old Brazilian winger seemed to be on course to stay another year with the Rouge et Noir. Julien Stéphan had even started the day before his transfer and he scored against Reims (2-2) in the league. The Rennes managers then explained that they had tried to hold him back, but that they had ended up giving in to the player’s desire to sign in England.
« From the moment the player makes the decision to leave the club and go to Leeds, we did not wish to oppose it, » said Florian Maurice, the sports director of Rennes, in comments reported by France Blue. Same speech from President Nicolas Holveck: « Keeping a player against his will, we have all done it, and it is not necessarily a good idea. With the sequences to come where we will play every three days , losing a player for one, two or three months, because that’s the time it takes to digest this failure, it’s really not easy for the player himself and for the group. » On his social networks, Raphinha had told him that the decision to leave had been taken « by mutual agreement » with Rennes.
« I was told that Rennes would only sell me for 60 million euros, but they sold me 15 million »
Two months later, his version of this departure is different, to say the least. In an interview with ESPN Brazil, he says his former executives didn’t really try to keep him.
« I was focused on playing the Champions League with Rennes. To learn that they accepted an offer from Leeds, for a price lower than my purchase price (around 21 million euros), to me. made me feel devalued. I played on Sunday and after the game they put the blame for my departure on me. Until Saturday I was focused on the game. The transfer window was going to close, I knew that ‘nothing would happen,’ he said in this interview transcribed in English by the Yorkshire Evening Post.
« I was told that Rennes would only sell me for 60 million euros, but they sold me 15 million. I felt devalued, » he said. The amount of his transfer to Leeds, however, would be closer to 17 million euros, excluding bonus. Holder during the last three days of the Premier League, he notably scored the winning goal against Everton (1-0) on November 28. Before receiving West Ham on Friday (9 p.m. on RMC Sport), his team occupies 14th place in the standings.
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