Ex-Hull City striker Dean Windass believes Raphinha’s future at Leeds United will depend on whether Marcelo Bielsa extends his contract with the club.
The enigmatic Argentine coach is currently on a rolling one-year contract as it was his decision to work on a year-on-year basis at the Elland Road outfit.
His two-and-a-half-year spell with the Whites is the longest time he’s spent at any club side throughout his managerial career, and Windass believes one of Leeds’ key men could depart if the former Athletic Bilbao boss chooses not to renew his contract.
Raphinha only arrived at the club last summer in a £17m move from Rennes but, the Brazilian winger has lit up the Premier League in recent weeks, bagging three goals and providing three assists in his last eight league outings.
His presence could be key if the three-time English champions are to continue their surge up the standings, however, in an exclusive interview with Football Fan Cast, Windass predicts his time with the Whites could be cut short.
He said: “There was a lot of talk, Jamie Redknapp was going on about him, and Graeme Souness was saying that there was a lot of big clubs looking at him. For me, that’ll be the decision – if Bielsa stays. If Bielsa goes, someone will pay £50-60m for the boy.
“He has got an unbelievable talent. He’s a flair player. He likes to entertain. He has a great left foot, he can cross balls, he can score goals, it’ll be interesting to see how many assists he has got this year.
“So the question will be if the manager stays, can he keep him? Then, if the manager stays, the manager will go, ‘I want him, I want him, I want him all on contracts – I don’t want him, I don’t want him, I don’t want him, I want them out.’ And that’s what will happen.”
TIF Thoughts on Raphinha…
Money is expected to be tight in the upcoming transfer window due to the impact that the pandemic has had on clubs, though Raphinha is someone who represents minimal risk for top English sides.
The 24-year-old has already proven he’s capable of producing his best form in the Premier League, and some of the division’s traditional ‘big six’ could be tempted to make a move over the summer.