Liverpool are reportedly prepared to sacrifice forward Takumi Minamino in order to beat Barcelona to the signing of Leeds United winger Raphinha.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool are ready to offer Takumi Minamino to Leeds United as part of the deal to sign Brazilian winger Raphinha, who is also a transfer target for La Liga giants Barcelona.
Raphinha joined Leeds United from Rennes in the summer of 2020 and has been a major success at Elland Road. After enjoying a fine debut season in England in 2020/21, the 25-year-old was impressive once again in the recently-concluded campaign, playing an integral role in helping Leeds avoid the drop back to the EFL Championship.
Raphinha finished the season with 11 goals and three assists in all competitions, with his form helping him establish a foothold in the Brazilian national team setup. At the same time, the former Sporting CP winger has also attracted a lot of interest heading into the summer window, most notably from Barcelona.
The Catalan giants are preparing to bid goodbye to Ousmane Dembele as a free agent, with his contract set to expire at the end of the month. Despite multiple attempts, Barcelona have been unable to tie him down to a new deal and have identified Raphinha as a key transfer target to replace the Frenchman.
However, Barcelona’s financial situation has complicated their pursuit of Raphinha, with Leeds United rejecting an offer from the Blaugrana and placing a €55 million price tag on their prized asset. While the transfer fee demands make it tricky for the Catalans to sign the Brazilian, they will now have to contend with competition from Liverpool.
The Reds are bracing themselves for the departure of star forward Sadio Mane, who has hinted that he wishes to move on this summer with his contract expiring in 2023. Bayern Munich have emerged as the likeliest destination for the Senegalese speedster even though Liverpool have rejected an offer from the Bavarians for the winger.
With Mane likely to move on, Liverpool have identified several potential candidates to replace him, with Raphinha emerging as one. And the Reds’ financial situation puts them in an advantageous position ahead of Barcelona in pursuit of the 25-year-old. In addition to that, Jurgen Klopp’s side may have another ace up their sleeve.
As per the report, Leeds United are interested in signing Liverpool forward Takumi Minamino in the summer. And the Reds would be willing to offer the Japanese international to the Whites as part of the deal to sign Raphinha. The 27-year-old has not been a regular in the side at Anfield but has made valuable contributions whenever called upon.
However, Klopp is prepared to sacrifice Minamino in the pursuit of Raphinha, as he plots to beat Barcelona to the signing of the Leeds star. Whether such a move materialises this summer remains to be seen.