The lowdown: Wanted man
Raphinha is currently at the centre of a spectacular transfer battle with Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona all interested in acquiring the Brazilian’s services.
The 25-year-old Brazil international is believed to be open to a move away from Elland Road having helped the Yorkshire club narrowly avoid relegation from the Premier League on the final day of last season.
However, no transfer has yet come to fruition and an emerging claim from Spain has suggested that a link-up with Jurgen Klopp at Anfield remains a possibility…
The latest: Can’t pay…
It’s claimed that the Reds are ‘on the market looking for a replacement’ for Sadio Mane who left Anfield for Bayern Munich, but Raphinha ‘wants’ to join cash-strapped Barcelona as a number one preference.
The report states that Leeds will accept bids of €70million (£60million) for the man hailed as ‘world class’ by former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson after a standout performance against Norwich City last year.
The verdict: We’ll take it away…
Already a proven performer in the Premier League, signing Raphinha as an understudy and potential long-term replacement for the freshly signed Mohamed Salah would be a relatively low-risk venture from FSG and Julian Ward.
Predominantly operating as a right-winger, the mercurial Brazilian scored 11 times and provided three assists in 35 league outings last term whilst successfully completing 1.8 dribbles, winning 5.2 duels and taking 2.5 shots per game.
Not content with an outstanding goal involvement record, Raphinha – who shares similar stylistic traits to the likes of Riyad Mahrez, Domenico Berardi and Lorenzo Pellegrini (Fbref) – finished tied for fourth place among the most prolific nutmeg exponents in Europe’s top five leagues.
If indeed Chelsea or Arsenal aren’t the ideal destination and Barcelona continue to struggle to pay the required fee, Liverpool should be all over a last-ditch attempt to bring the skilful Brazilian to Merseyside.
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