After their recent upturn in form, it has emerged that Leeds United could talk Raphinha into staying at Elland Road, according to journalist Dean Jones.
The Brazilian has been on red-hot form for Leeds this season amidst their long list of injuries that derailed their second consecutive season in the top flight of English football.
The individual excellence of Raphinha has seen teams like Liverpool, Manchester City, West Ham United, Newcastle United, Bayern Munich and Barcelona all form interest in the forward this season.
In recent news, it appears Barcelona remain the closest to signing the Brazilian as it was reported they have entered talks on personal terms with the player but are yet to formally send a bid to the West Yorkshire club.
While Raphinha would cost a hefty sum to acquire – rumoured around the £60m mark – Leeds will not want to separate with their star man as they look to build on their recent form under Jesse Marsch with additions in the transfer market.
Jones confirmed that selling Raphinha will not be Leeds’ only option in the summer as they could convince him to stay. Speaking to GiveMeSport he stated that Raphinha’s people have told him: “We’re not going to rule out the fact that he might leave Leeds, but at the same time, if they could talk him into staying, then he might stay.”
TIF Thoughts on Raphinha staying at Leeds…
The Brazilian has been the focal point of the Whites’ success this season as they have faced injuries to key men like Kalvin Phillips and Patrick Bamford. Both have missed significant game time, with Phillips sitting out 15 league games while Bamford has spent 22 matches on the sidelines.
So far this season, Raphinha has racked up 10 goals and three assists in his 30 appearances for the club this season while averaging an impressive 2.6 shots, 2 key passes and 2.1 dribbles while being fouled 1.3 times per game. He also does his defensive duties, with 1.4 tackles and 0.9 interceptions per match, as well as 1.7 long balls and an average game rating of 7.06 (as per WhoScored).
Leeds should do whatever they can to keep Raphinha as he has been their standout man this season, but keeping his eyes off the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich will not be easy.