Leeds United are reportedly confident of keeping Raphinha this summer amid claims their star winger is attracting interest from Liverpool and Barcelona.
Mesmeric winger Raphinha has proved a class above for the Whites this season. His form since a £17m move from Rennes this summer has captured the hearts of Leeds fans – and won the Brazilian an army of admirers in the process.
Indeed, such has been Raphinha’s form that there is growing talk that Liverpool and Barcelona could be ready to make huge summer approaches to sign him.
And with the offer of Champions League football on the table, one observer felt that could leave Leeds with a sticky situation.
However, cult Leeds hero Jermaine Beckford told Sky Sports recently that he can see United offering Raphinha a new deal as a reward for his form.
“Raphinha, I think he’s fantastic. Every time he picks the ball up, he’s so positive, constantly going forwards, looking forward, how can I get past the defender?
“He’s quick, he’s sharp, he’s tricky.
“He’s at a massive football club playing week-in, week-out.
“What I would do now, is I’d tie him down on a new contract. If I was Marcelo Bielsa or [Andrea] Radrizzani, I’d say, ‘Listen, what a great start to your campaign. Come into the office, I need to have a word with you. Call your agent, by the way’.”
New deal for Raphinha
Former Scotland boss Alex McLeish reckons Leeds would be wise to tie Raphinha down to an improved deal. Speaking to Football Insider, he expects that is a plan Leeds will already be considering in a bid to keep his suitors at bay.
“That’s what generally tends to happen in the Premier League,” McLeish said.
“When a player like Raphinha is excelling then the player thinks the club should reward him with a pay rise.
“Then, when the player gets that kind of reward from his bosses, he has a devotion to play to keep playing for that team.
“He says: ‘Have I done well for them? Yes, I have, but I’ve not got a big ego that I’m going to cause mayhem and want to leave for Barcelona or wherever.’
“They can be up for grabs for some of the big teams, let’s not get away from that, but there’s got to be a sense of loyalty as well.”
With five goals and five assists in his 21 appearances for the Whites, it’s easy to see why interest in Raphinha is mounting.
Speaking about his start to life at Elland Road, the Brazilian seems happy with his form in West Yorkshire.