As per the club insider, the Hammers could still be in the running for the Brazilian this summer, despite persistent speculation that the 25-year-old is set to join Barcelona.
Asked whether the east Londoners are one of the sides interested in the player, following an update from Fabrizio Romano, the West Ham source offered his view on the forward potentially arriving at the London Stadium, revealing on Twitter that: “We were keen in January so I guess there is a chance but we bid a lot less than £55m I believe.”
The suggestion had been in the winter that GSB had placed a club-record bid to try and prize the seven-cap gem from Elland Road, while David Moyes and co also reportedly failed with a £50m offer for teammate Kalvin Phillips.
This latest claim will have reinvigorated hope among supporters that the former Rennes man could be pulling on a claret and blue jersey next term, with the £63k-per-week trickster seemingly the type of player that the Hammers faithful would simply worship.
While something of a maverick, the one-time Sporting man has been a largely consistent figure for his current side in recent seasons, having been signed by former boss Marcelo Bielsa on a £17m deal back in the summer of 2020.
Since then, the £40.5m-rated wide man has scored 17 goals and provided 12 assists in just 65 Premier League games, with 11 of those goals having come in the recent campaign despite what was a gruelling season in which the Yorkshire outfit only just staved off the drop.
Raphinha had been pivotal in ensuring survival for his side, notably netting a crucial penalty on the final day away at Brentford, before a stoppage-time winner from Jack Harrison – another reported West Ham target – confirmed their narrow escape.
Pundit Ian Wright praised the 5 foot 9 ace for converting his spot-kick under “immense pressure” to help Jesse Marsh’s side on their way to victory, while he endeared himself even more to the Leeds faithful following his jubilant celebrations post-match.
Such an infectious presence would no doubt thrive at the London Stadium, with West Ham having so often been a stage for unique talents to blossom, namely the likes of Dimitri Payet and Paolo Di Canio who could so often carve out a moment of magic from nothing.
It would seem that Raphinha is cut from a similar cloth, with supporters likely to warm to the fleet-footed talent quickly, were he to make the switch this summer.