Leeds United ace Raphinha has responded to the speculation that Liverpool are keeping a close eye on his performances at Elland Road.
The 24-year-old Brazilian winger has been attracting the attention of Reds’ boss Jürgen Klopp for some time and KOPTALK sources insist that he is under constant observation.
Talked up as a possible transfer target for Liverpool and a number of other top European sides, speculation continues to suggest that he could be on his way to pastures new next year although are adamant that he’s not for sale and the player himself has again spoken up to deny that United don’t meet his expectations.
Asked by BBC Radio Leeds if he thinks he can achieve everything he wants to at Elland Road, Raphinha said: “Without a doubt.
“When you bring together players with a real, strong, winning desire together with the manager, the coaching staff, fans who love the club, you create a wonderful atmosphere in the stadium and at the training ground.
“Marcelo Bielsa demands a lot of us. We know that. We’re used to it. We listen to him. He helps us develop and evolve as players, as professionals.
“We listen to him and we play his style of football. That’s the football that has put us, that has given us attention in the Premier League, [that has] made us stand out in the Premier League and made Leeds a Premier League team.”
He added: “Leeds should never have left the Premier League. When you take that together with the fans, who love the club, these fans deserve to be in the Premier League and us as players, the least we can do is repay this love from the fans and get the results the team and the fans deserve.”
Bielsa’s contract expires next summer and as yet he is yet to agree an extension. Subsequently, there are claims that Leeds are working on a list of potential replacements should they be forced into finding a replacement. If he does leave Elland Road, Raphinha’s attitude may of course change.
Liverpool midfielder Fabinho admitted last month that he would have liked to have seen his international team-mate make the switch to Anfield last summer. He told Globo Esporte: “Since he arrived in the Premier League he has had very good performances and highlights.
“For Liverpool, I was hoping that would happen. But in the end, he stayed with Leeds.”
Although Fabinho thinks it would have been a good move, former Leeds defender Rio Ferdinand disagrees.
Speaking on his YouTube channel yesterday, Ferdinand said: “The only problem I think with something like Raphinha going to Liverpool is just where he’s going to play?
“He’s not going to start, so £60million not to start is a big, big fee. And for him as a player, I’m sure he’ll have more options.
“It’s a great club, don’t get me wrong, fighting on all fronts to win things.
“That question won’t be answered in a positive way for him: ‘Will I start a lot of games?’
“If Salah stays and signs a new contract, it puts a dampener on his ability to play.”
Raphinha, who was signed by Leeds from Rennes in 2020 for a fee believed to be an initial £17million, reportedly earns £63,000-a-week on his contract which expires in 2024.
He is represented by D20 Sports which is headed by former Barcelona and Chelsea star Deco.
We must bring to your attention that Deco also has a very close working relationship with Jorge Mendes of the Gestifute agency. These agencies also represent Fabinho, Diogo Jota and Pedro Neto, a player that we’ve been telling our members to monitor for some time (although he’s currently out injured). There’s more on D20 Sports, Gestifute, Raphinha and Neto on this ongoing update.