Bruno Fernandes has already provided his verdict on Leeds United starlet Raphinha, who has been linked with a summer transfer to Liverpool.
Raphinha, 24, only joined Marcelo Bielsa’s team last summer following a £17 million [BBC] move from Rennes. The Brazilian winger has clocked up 17 appearances for the Lilywhites – and has had a hand in eight goals.
After just half-a-season in England’s top-flight, it’s clear to see why there is such a fuss about the former Ligue 1 star, who inspired a Champions League finish with Rennes last season.
Raphinha, who is represented by footballing icon Deco, had also laid on four assists for Leeds, who currently sit in the top-half of the Premier League table.
He has a contract at Elland Road that isn’t due to expire until the summer of 2024. Italian publication Juve Live claim that Liverpool have already begun the scouting process for Raphinha with club staff sent to watch the Leeds man in action.
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The report adds that Leeds, too, have already begun looking for replacements amid interest from the English champions. Douglas Costa of Juventus has been mooted as a viable alternative.
Fernandes and Raphinha
Raphinha, then, could be seen as a potential long-term replacement for either Sadio Mane or Mohamed Salah, who will both be 29 come to the beginning of next season.
And Manchester United talisman Fernandes, who played alongside Raphinha at Sporting Lisbon, has already given his thoughts on his former teammate should a move to Anfield materialise.
“Raphinha, I miss Raphinha,” Fernandes said, per Top Mercato back in December 2019.
“He’s a player with whom I had a different chemistry from the others. He understood me at a glance.
“He knew, according to the movement of my body, where I was going to put the ball to him. I also miss him because he brought joy to the locker room. He’s also a responsible and hardworking person.”
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Given the fact that Leeds paid £17m to land Raphinha only last summer, it’s likely the Reds will have to spend big if they are to force Bielsa’s hand regarding a transfer.
Liverpool have had success in the past when it comes to poaching potential future stars from Premier League rivals.
The likes of Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane and Gini Wijnaldum were all secured from top-flight rivals and have since gone on to become Premier League winners.
If Liverpool do choose to pursue a move for Raphinha, then it showcases that Klopp must think he is the real deal.
The early signs are promising. Just like Fernandes, this is a transfer saga we can certainly get behind.