Pundit Danny Mills believes Leeds United may have a fresh problem with Raphinha, Football Insider report.
The Lowdown: Barcelona links
Raphinha, labelled as ‘phenomenal’ by Jermaine Beckford, has been catching the eye following an impressive campaign in a Leeds shirt.
Will Raphinha still be a Leeds player next season?
Yes, he'll stay!
Not a chance!
The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with Barcelona, who, according to Spanish outlet Sport, are readying a second bid worth an initial £33.9m (€40m).
Various add-ons would also be included in a possible deal, with the Spanish giants aware of Raphinha’s €25m release clause if the Whites drop back down to the Championship.
The Latest: Mills’ comments
He believed the Nou Camp would be a ‘huge draw’ for the winger and questioned if Raphinha will become a ‘problem’ at Elland Road.
“What that low bid does, is unsettle the player.
“It says to the player and his agent, ‘we’re interested and we want you’. Suddenly the player is thinking ‘Barcelona want me’.
“If there is intent from Barcelona’s side, it firms the whole thing up and it makes it awkward for Leeds United in that situation.
“This isn’t a Kalvin Phillips scenario when he’s been here his whole life, he’s been here for a couple of years.
“For a South American, Barcelona is a huge draw. Now they have declared their interest, will Raphinha become a bit of a problem?
“At the end under Bielsa, he didn’t look happy.
“Raphinha has to think if he wants to play in the bottom half of the Premier League or in the Champions League with Barcelona.”
The Verdict: No problem
Raphinha has been Leeds’ best-rated performer this season, as per WhoScored, with no player scoring more goals, registering more assists on winning more man of the match awards.
Jesse Marsch also revealed on Thursday that he hasn’t spoken with Raphinha over his future, hailing him in the process.
You’d expect that he won’t be a ‘problem’, as Mills has speculated, between now and the end of the season in regards to forcing a move away, and helping Leeds stay in the top flight could actually help him earn a mega-money move to the Nou Camp.
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