Leeds United have been handed a huge boost in their bid to keep Raphinha at Elland Road beyond the January transfer window.
That’s according to Paul Gorst’s recent report for the Liverpool Echo, with the journalist stating that – despite Liverpool being believed to have scouted the winger on a number of occasions this season, as well as being heavily linked with a swoop for the former Rennes wizard – Jurgen Klopp’s side look unlikely to make a move for the 24-year-old in the winter market.
In his report, Gorst writes: “Leeds United’s Raphinha is another who club scouts are believed to be running the rule over, but a January move will almost certainly not be forthcoming.”
Considering just how important Raphinha has become to Leeds since his £17m move to Elland Road last summer, the news that Liverpool are not planning to launch an offensive for the Brazil international in January is sure to have left Bielsa buzzing.
Indeed, over his 30 Premier League appearances last term, the £34m-rated forward highly impressed for the Whites, bagging six goals, providing nine assists and creating 12 big chances for his teammates, as well as taking 2.2 shots and making 2.1 key passes per game.
These returns saw the player who Illan Meslier dubbed “unbelievable” and a “storm” earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.14, ranking him as Bielsa’s third-best performer in the league as the Brazilian played a crucial role in his team securing a remarkable ninth-placed finish on their return to the top flight.
With Leeds having struggled so far in the current campaign, Raphinha’s performances have been even more important for his manager, with the £58k-per-week winger scoring seven goals, registering one assist and creating four big chances over his 14 league outings – returns which have seen him average a SofaScore match rating of 7.16.
As such, the news that the Reds do not look as if they will make a move for the 24-year-old this winter will undoubtedly come as a major boost to Bielsa and his side, as retaining the services of the Brazil forward would very much appear to reduce the Whites’ chances of being pulled into a relegation scrap come the end of the season.