Raphinha’s brilliant season with Leeds
Leeds United have enjoyed a brilliant return to the top flight this season, defying all expectations to finish ninth in the Premier League under maverick boss Marcelo Bielsa.
While a large part of this success can be put down to players at the club during their Championship-winning campaign, the signings that the Yorkshire side have made have also made valuable contributions.
Of these, it is Brazilian winger Raphinha that has caught the eye. Signed from Ligue 1 side Rennes on transfer deadline day, the 24-year-old has contributed six goals and nine assists for Bielsa’s side, sparking interest from top sides around the world.
Liverpool not yet made contact:
There were rumours that Liverpool lead the race for Raphinha’s signature that spread across social media this afternoon. Gianluigi Longari also claimed that Manchester United and Manchester City were both interested in signing the versatile player, which is perhaps the biggest indicator of his performance levels for Leeds this season
Confirmed. Liverpool lead the race for #Raphinha but also Manchester United and Manchester City are following the winger. Not a simple deal cause Leeds want to keep him. #LFC #LUFC #MUFC #MCFC @tvdellosport https://t.co/Pj7ziC5apy
— Gianluigi Longari (@Glongari) June 3, 2021
However, these rumours were quickly quashed by Graham Smyth, who is considered to be a top source for Liverpool news. Smyth commented that although Liverpool will surely be among the clubs keeping an eye on the winger, they are yet to make any content with the Yorkshire club over a transfer.
Liverpool will definitely have interest in Raphinha. Most big clubs will. He’s a young winger who gave the Premier League serious problems. But Liverpool have never made contact with Leeds United over him. And you have to imagine it would take a huge amount to get him#lufc
— Graham Smyth (@GrahamSmyth) June 3, 2021
Backup is needed for Liverpool, who will lose both Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane to the African Cup of Nations midway through the season. At present, Takumi Minamino, Divock Origi, Xherdan Shaqiri and Diogo Jota are the options to cover the pair, but it is though that at least Origi and Shaqiri will be moved on this summer.
Raphinha would be a fantastic signing for Jurgen Klopp’s side, and would add another dimension to their side in attack. However, no contact has been made so far, and it would appear that only a substantial bid would change that.