The lowdown: Anfield admiration
Directly contributing to 31 goals in 65 Premier League appearances since arriving from Ligue 1 outfit Rennes in October 2020, Raphinha has made a spectacular impact for the Whites and was integral to the Yorkshire club’s survival last term.
That form has led to strong links with a move away from Elland Road for the Brazilian winger, with Barcelona long touted as the main suitors.
However, having initially been linked with Raphinha last year, it appears as though the Reds could be about to reignite their admiration for the 25-year-old…
The latest: Klopp’s a ‘fan’ of Raphinha
As per The Mirror, Liverpool are said to be ‘ramping up’ their interest in Raphinha ahead of the summer transfer window.
It’s claimed that Jurgen Klopp is a ‘big fan’ of the 25-year-old and could be willing to ‘sacrifice’ Takumi Minamino as part of a deal, as the Japanese forward has previously worked with Leeds manager Jesse Marsch at Red Bull Salzburg.
The report added that the man lauded as a ‘magician’ by team-mate Dan James is valued at £60m and ‘fits the bill perfectly’ for the Reds, as Klopp and Julian Ward seek a potential replacement for the seemingly wantaway Sadio Mane.
The verdict: Better options…
Although signing Raphinha would appear to be a sensational piece of business from Liverpool, the skilful Brazil international predominantly operates as a right winger and cuts in from that side on his left foot, a position occupied on a near-permanent basis by Mohamed Salah at Anfield.
After ending the campaign operating as a centre-forward following the success of Luis Diaz’s capture, Klopp and co would be best served to replace Mane with a natural central option, a role that the eight-cap Brazil ace has carried out on just one occasion in his career.
Should Liverpool sign Raphinha?
Despite another stellar campaign in 2021/22, during which Raphinha scored 11 times and provided three assists in 35 league outings, at the mooted lofty asking price Liverpool should be looking elsewhere for their Mane successor. They have already been credited with an interest in the likes of Darwin Nunez, who may be a better fit for the number nine role, having racked up 34 goals in the most recent campaign.
In other news: Another Liverpool rumour has emerged regarding this winger
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