Liverpool have reportedly joined Chelsea and Barcelona in the race to sign Leeds United winger Raphinha in the summer.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Italian journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed that Barcelona, Chelsea and Liverpool are all interested in signing Brazilian winger Raphinha from Leeds United in the summer.
Raphinha joined Leeds United in the summer of 2020 from French club Rennes. The 25-year-old had an impressive debut campaign in England as he helped the Whites maintain their Premier League status in their first season back in the top-flight after 16 years. He finished with six goals and nine assists from 30 matches.
While Leeds have struggled this term and find themselves embroiled in the relegation battle, Raphinha has stood out, scoring nine goals and setting up two more in 25 matches in the Premier League. There have been some questions over consistency, but the Brazilian international’s stock has risen high, with some of the biggest teams in the continent interested in signing him.
Chelsea and Barcelona had shown an interest in the 25-year-old. They have now been joined by Liverpool in the race, as reported by Romano. Chelsea’s interest in the Brazilian comes off as a bit surprising considering the attacking riches they already have at their disposal. However, there have been some murmurs about the future of Christian Pulisic, who has failed to nail down a place in the side.
Raphinha, given his qualities and pedigree, would be a fine addition to Thomas Tuchel’s squad at Stamford Bridge. However, the situation surrounding Chelsea, with the club being put up for sale, and current owner Roman Abramovich being sanctioned by the UK government, could throw a spanner in the works with regard to their transfer plans until the situation is resolved.
As for Barcelona, their interest in Raphinha is pretty much forward. Ousmane Dembele will leave the club at the end of the season when his contract expires. It would leave a void in the attacking department that Xavi Hernandez would like to fill with a quality operator, who at the same time is economically feasible, which makes the Leeds United star a viable target.
According to Gianluigi Longari on Football Transfers, Raphinha has a release clause worth €75 million, which will drop to just €25 million if Leeds United get relegated. And the latter figure would be well within the means of Barcelona despite their delicate financial situation.
Liverpool, meanwhile, have also shown an interest in the 25-year-old Brazilian international. The Reds signed a versatile forward in Luis Diaz in January, and the Colombian has made a positive start to life in England. However, with uncertainty continuing to loom over the contract situations of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, another attacking signing can be expected at Anfield in the summer.
Jarrod Bowen of West Ham United has been touted as the priority for Jurgen Klopp’s side, with Raphinha potentially being considered an alternative. The uncertainty surrounding Chelsea and Barcelona’s limited finances could end up playing into Liverpool’s hands if they decide to press ahead with their interest in the Leeds United winger.