Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani must avoid making a massive mistake by selling Raphinha amid a recent transfer claim.
The Brazil star has been in scintillating form for his country during the international break, including a game-changing performance against Venezuela when he came on as a substitute and helped set up two goals in a 3-1 win.
That has since seen former Premier League striker Gabby Agbonlahor drop a major claim that Marcelo Bielsa’s side will find it difficult to keep hold of Raphinha in the long-term, and that he could look to push for a move away sooner rather than later.
He said: “I think it’s going to be very hard. Leeds need more investment in their squad, they need to start buying players that can keep them fighting even further up the table.
“Over the next year, year and a half, people like Raphinha will leave, his head will get turned by other clubs. Raphinha is getting into Brazil squads, he’s playing for Brazil now. He’s not going to want to play for Leeds, he’s going to want to move and play for a bigger club that’s playing in the Champions League. Someone of Raphinha’s quality should be playing in the Champions League.
“It’s just the reality of football. If Leeds can’t invest and get a better squad that’s challenging to get into Europe he will want to leave. That’s just normal.”
After embarking on a spending spree in their first transfer window after clinching promotion to the Premier League – the club broke their transfer record to sign Rodrigo and also snapped up the likes of Robin Koch and Diego Llorente among others for decent amounts too – they were far quieter this summer.
The Whites spent almost half of what they did last year, bringing in Jack Harrison on a permanent basis from Manchester City, signing Barcelona ace Junior Firpo, and clinching a late deal for Manchester United’s Dan James.
With The Athletic’s Phil Hay already admitting that some of European football’s heavyweights could make a big bid for Kalvin Phillips sometime soon, losing him and/or Raphinha would be a monumental blow for Leeds.
If the Yorkshire club are intent on making progress and eventually closing the gap to the Premier League’s ‘big six’, and pushing for a potential European spot too, then continuing to spend money on reinforcing the squad is key to convincing the likes of Raphinha and Phillips that they can achieve their goals here at Elland Road.
It’s now become imperative for Radrizzani to put his money where his mouth is over these next couple of transfer windows, and show his star players and the fans as a whole that he wants this club to take that all important next step.
Selling Raphinha would leave fans absolutely fuming. It would be an unforgivable mistake on the part of the Leeds supremo to do so. He is too good a player to lose.