Leeds United chairman Andrea Radrizzani must avoid risking Marcelo Bielsa’s wrath as claims emerge over Liverpool’s interest in Raphinha in the upcoming summer transfer window.
After joining from French side Rennes last year, Raphinha enjoyed a superb debut campaign in the Premier League, netting six goals and providing another nine assists in the division.
Naturally, that has led to rival clubs taking note, and according to journalist Gianluca Longari (via Sport Witness), Liverpool are leading the race to sign him, although both Manchester City and Manchester United are also said to be in the running. He adds that a deal will not be simple, however, with Leeds eager to keep him at Elland Road.
Given how incredible Raphinha has been at Leeds in his first season at the club, there’s no questioning that Bielsa would be absolutely livid if the Brazilian were to be sold, especially to another side in the Premier League.
In response to those rumours, Gabby Agbonlahor even went so far as to claim that the Leeds boss could quit if Raphinha left this summer. He said: “I can just tell Bielsa will not let any of his players go. Bielsa’s the sort of guy that if the Leeds hierarchy sold players he would leave. I just don’t see Bielsa allowing any of his players to leave.
“He will want to improve. He will want to improve on the league position from this season. I just can’t see him allowing any players to go. Even if they wanted to.”
Raphinha’s displays had Leeds teammate Patrick Bamford hailing him after the 2-0 win over Crystal Palace in February, with the Englishman telling Sky Sports: “I think, to be honest, he has been a steal for Leeds. I am surprised. As soon as he came in, you saw him in training, you know sometimes with players whether they are good or they are top class, and he really was. He stood out straightaway.
“I am surprised that bigger teams, more established Premier League teams I should say, haven’t taken a punt on him because he really is someone special, and he is young.”
Given how his teammates have taken to Raphinha and rate him, and how well he has performed, Radrizzani must avoid a major Leeds United howler by selling the 24-year-old this summer. Otherwise, he would surely risk the wrath of Bielsa.