Raphinha’s efforts helped keep Leeds United in the Premier League but those performances have attracted attention from elsewhere with Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal keen on the Brazilian
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Raphinha celebrated with the Leeds United fans on the final day of the Premier League season as the Whites secured survival.
The Brazilian had been a leading light for the Elland Road outfit in what had been a season of struggles. His 11 goals proved crucial, but whilst he continued to contribute, the feeling was the winger may be seeking pastures new sooner rather than later.
Leeds’ Premier League status means they can drive a harder bargain than they would have in the second tier, but Raphinha is still more likely to leave Yorkshire than he is to stay. Several of England’s elite are eyeing the Brazilian, who has become a regular with the national side.
Arsenal are ready to back up their interest as they prepare a £ 50m bid with Mikel Arteta seeking to bolster his attacking options are seeing the Gunners narrowly miss out on the top four. Their north London rivals Tottenham retain an interest but it is the Emirates hierarchy who are looking to test Leeds’ resolve.
Spanish heavyweights Barcelona are also keen and have long been the ideal destination for a South American star – the likes of Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho are testament to that. Raphinha is no different and his agent Deco has even agreed personal terms with the Camp Nou outfit, who are in the midst of a rebuild under Xavi.
Barcelona’s finances could still hold up the deal however with the books far from balanced in Catalunya. The Catalans were banking on Leeds being relegated, which would’ve activated a clause in the player’s contract that made his exit far more simple.
Instead Leeds have slapped a. 60m price tag on the winger despite the player’s future being far from shored up, with contract talks ongoing. That could yet force the club into selling their most prized asset, but Spanish outlet Sport claim that Liverpool have already been told that Barcelona remain above them in Raphinha’s wish list.
The Reds had been touted as a potential destination throughout the season, especially with the futures of Mo Salah and Sadio Mane unclear. The latter is now set to join Bayern Munich whilst the Egyptian’s contract situation remains unclear.
Darwin Nunez has arrived at Anfield which may ease their interest in Raphinha, at least for the meantime. Arch rivals Manchester United meanwhile are seeking reinforcements in a host of departments. Midfield and defense remain priority areas but they could still be in the market for attacking additions.
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Red Devils talisman Bruno Fernandes has previously teamed up with Raphinha when the pair were at Sporting Lisbon. The Portuguese star moved to Old Trafford in January 2020 whilst the Brazilian arrived in England via Rennes shortly after.
Fernandes has talked up the Leeds star, whom he connected with impressively on the pitch. He said previously: “Raphinha, I miss Raphinha. He’s a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others. He understood me at a glance. I also miss him because he brought joy to the locker room. He’s also a responsible and hardworking person. ”
The player said on his future earlier this month, as reported by Globo: “If I say that it does not matter, I would be lying. Knowing that there are less than six months left for the Cup, you have to be active in the clubs, that weighs on the decision, but I trust my potential. If it’s to stay or leave, I’ll do my best, look for my space and I’ll try to be well for the World Cup. “