Fabrizio Romano has delivered a huge update on the future of Raphinha at Leeds United this week…
The Brazilian winger has regularly been linked with moves away from Elland Road following his fine form for the Yorkshire giants over the past 18 months or so, with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich and Premier League rivals Liverpool just two of the teams mooted with interest.
For now, though, he isn’t leaving Leeds during the January transfer window but that could change in the summer.
“Everything is in place. [Kingsley] Coman is prepared to stay at Bayern and it means that, first of all, that Raphinha from Leeds to Bayern was fake news because it was never a done deal between Leeds and Bayern. The reports on Christmas Day were not true,” the Italian journalist told his ‘Here We Go’ podcast.
“And also about Raphinha, keep an eye on other English clubs for the summer – not for [the] January window but for summer – English clubs are interested in Raphinha and I’m not so sure he is going to extend his contract at Leeds.”
This update will come as a double-edged sword for many United supporters.
On the one hand, it’s a massive, massive boost to keep hold of him for the remainder of the season, especially as they are by no means clear of a relegation dogfight.
Yes, Marcelo Bielsa’s side sit eight points above the drop zone but that could quickly change, with multiple teams possessing several games in hand due to postponements over the festive period.
Raphinha has been vital for the Argentine this season as he tops the charts for goals scored (eight), key passes (1.8 per game), dribbles (2.4 per game) and shots (3.1 per game), via WhoScored. He leads in pretty much every attacking aspect, so Leeds would be in a tricky spot without his goals and creativity.
However, Romano’s claim suggesting that the 25-year-old dynamo will not sign a new contract is hugely worrying, even more so as his failure to join Bayern this month will open up the possibility of him going to one of their top-flight rivals instead, just in the summer rather than now.
That would be a devastating double blow.
Instead, those around Elland Road will have to watch their former favourite continue to light up the English game but for another team in the league.
All in all, it’s hard to imagine that many fans will be thrilled by this news. The information surrounding his long-term future and his contract is certainly going to leave a lot of supporters angry.
AND in other news, Marcelo Bielsa dealt another cruel Leeds United injury blow…