Manchester City are the latest Premier League club to be linked with Leeds United winger Raphinha, with two of their biggest rivals also reportedly interested in signing the Brazilian this summer.
According to Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari, City have joined the race to sign the highly-rated 24-year-old, with Manchester United and Liverpool both still holding an interest in him ahead of the summer transfer window.
He also suggested that Leeds are eager to keep him, which is unsurprising after his superb debut season with the Elland Road outfit, with Marcelo Bielsa’s side having signed him from Rennes following their promotion from the Championship last summer.
He was one of Leeds’ most impressive performers in their 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium in April, with his pace and trickery regularly causing problems for City’s defence, so it is no surprise to hear that they are now showing an interest in him ahead of the summer.
Raphinha has averaged 2.1 key passes and 2.3 shots per game so far this season, which only Kevin De Bruyne can better in the current Manchester City squad, which immediately suggests that he would be an excellent addition to Guardiola’s side ahead of next season.
The £22.5m-rated winger has won no shortage of plaudits for his displays this season, with Manchester United talisman Bruno Fernandes reportedly a big fan, as his teammate Fred confessed earlier in the season, perhaps in an attempt to convince him to move to Old Trafford.
The Brazilian said:
Bruno’s been talking about Raphinha ever since he arrived. They played together at Sporting.
He’s a great player having an amazing season and a lot of clubs have their eye on him.
Considering his impressive performances this season, it would be a blow for City to lose out on Raphinha to their nearest rivals, so sporting director Txiki Begiristain should be putting plans in motion to bring him to the Etihad this summer.