Leeds United have held talks over a potential replacement for Raphinha, who seems set to depart Elland Road this off-season…
According to Football Insider, the Yorkshire giants are working on a deal to sign Club Brugge winger Noa Lang after holding fresh discussions in recent weeks.
A recruitment source told the website that the Whites have continued to track the progress of the Dutch sensation and have laid the groundwork ahead of the summer.
AC Milan are also keen, though, and the player is keen to move to an elite league, so relegation could hamper their chances tenfold.
It remains to be seen how much the 22-year-old dynamo would command, with Transfermarkt currently valuing him at £19.8m.
Indeed, regardless of what happens in terms of relegation and survival, it does appear as if it will be Raphinha’s last season in a Leeds shirt. Reports in Spain suggest that he is in advanced talks to join FC Barcelona.
Lang would be a very interesting replacement for him, though.
Last season, he was in electric form on Brugge’s way to the Jupiler Pro League title as he recorded 17 goals and 11 assists, and they look certain to repeat such exploits with the Holland international a major part once again, managing nine goals and 14 assists, via Transfermarkt.
It’s no wonder he’s been lauded as a “phenomenon” by Belgian journalist Peter Vandenbempt.
The 5 foot 10 former Ajax dynamo has arguably been one of the best in his position across Europe.
As per FBRef, Lang ranks amongst the top 2% of attackers and wingers for progressive passes (6.15 per 90) and top 5% for progressive carries (9,91 per 90), meaning he is consistently trying to break into the penalty box to create chances for himself or his teammates.
Given the fact that Raphinha leads the way for goals at Elland Road, he has big shoes to fill and on the above evidence, the Brugge sensation could well be an ideal like-for-like successor.
Opening talks with him almost certainly means that Raphinha is on the way out as Leeds are pretty stacked for wingers if he were to remain.
Premier League safety must now be sealed as Lang would be quite the signing indeed.