Transfers

Raphinha: The contenders to sign Leeds' in-demand winger

Krishan Davis
Raphinha has a big decision ahead of him
Raphinha has a big decision ahead of him / Visionhaus/Getty Images | Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images
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Leeds talisman Raphinha is set to provide one of the Premier League's biggest transfer sagas of the summer, with a host of clubs interested and the Brazilian seemingly keeping his options open.

Whatever happens, the Whites are going to make a significant profit on the £17m they paid French side Rennes for the 25-year-old's services back in October 2020. 90min understands Leeds will command at least £55m for the winger - and he has no shortage of suitors.

Raphinha has emerged as the star man at Elland Road and played a huge role in maintaining Leeds' Premier League status in 2021/22, but it appears his days there are numbered as he eyes a fresh challenge elsewhere.

Here are the contenders for Raphinha's signature, with the pursuit finely poised between some of Europe's big boys...


Arsenal

Of the sides interested in snaring Raphinha, Arsenal flinched first. The Gunners have already had an initial bid rejected out of hand for the Brazil international, with their offer falling well short of Leeds' valuation.

However, evidenced by their imminent capture of Man City forward Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal are not messing about this summer and will almost certainly return with an improved offer.

It is believed the Brazil international is not against a move to the Emirates Stadium, despite Arsenal's continued absence from the Champions League.


Barcelona

A move to Camp Nou is believed to be Raphinha's preferred destination, which is fair enough given the long line of Brazilian superstars to have shone there over the years.

However, it will be complicated for Barça to complete a deal as a result of their precarious financial situation. The sale of Frenkie de Jong to Manchester United could help things along, but the Catalans seem to have a number of deals they want to get over the line.

90min understands Raphinha's agent, Deco, is trying to persuade Leeds to do business with his former club for less than £50m, and he is willing to give Barça time to gather the necessary funds.


Chelsea

Chelsea's name has been mentioned in dispatches alongside Raphinha's, but the west Londoners appear set to intensify their pursuit of Man City winger Raheem Sterling instead, while Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele remains a target.

Of course, things can change quickly, but the Blues' passive stance at this stage suggests they have other priorities. Sterling may well come cheaper and brings vast, Premier League-winning experience, and Dembele would be available on a free transfer.

However, if something goes awry in those deals then Raphinha will be very high on Chelsea's list of alternatives.


Tottenham

Tottenham's interest is at a similar level to Chelsea's, with other options taking priority at this stage.

Although he will be keen to add more quality depth, it seems unlikely that Antonio Conte will want to break up his impressive front three of Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Dejan Kulusevski when the early signs are so positive, and there are limited attacking places in his 3-4-3 shape.

Sources have told 90min that Raphinha's compatriot Richarlison is higher on Spurs' wish list, and they are preparing to make an opening bid for the Everton man. He may well prove to be more costly than his Leeds counterpart.


Listen now to 90min's Talking Transfers podcast, with Scott SaundersGraeme BaileyHarry Symeou & Toby Cudworth. On the latest show they discuss Newcastle's decision to pull out of a deal for Hugo Ekitike and offer the latest on Arsenal's pursuit of Gabriel Jesus. Available on all audio platforms and the 90min YouTube channel.

If you can't see the podcast embed, click here to download the episode in full!


West Ham

The dark horses in the pursuit of Raphinha, but - unlike Turkey at Euro 2020 - West Ham should not be ruled out.

As first reported by 90min, the Hammers made an audacious bid to sign the winger in January, and sources have confirmed that their interest remains.

The player was open to the switch at the time and that has not changed as he considers all his options. The Hammers can also offer European football in the form of the Europa Conference League and a guaranteed starting place with the World Cup fast approaching.


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