Leeds winger Raphinha has outlined his hopes and dreams with the Yorkshire side amid fresh links linking the Brazil sensation with a big-money transfer to Liverpool.
The United winger, 24, is fast becoming one of the Premier League’s most in-demand forwards. Whites fans were already well aware of the enormous talent and attacking threat Raphinha provides. So too are Liverpool who have been persistently linked with the flyer.
However, his international exploits with Brazil in the last two international breaks have opened eyes further afar.
To that end, our exclusive revealed that PSG are also keeping tabs on Raphinha as a potential replacement for Kylian Mbappe.
Indeed, Raphinha took his long-awaited chance with Brazil with both hands last month.
In just 45 minutes on his debut versus Venezuela, Raphinha notched two assists and won a penalty. In his first start days later, he shone again, this time bagging two goals in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay.
Now, as he prepares to face Argentina on Tuesday, the spotlight is very much firmly on Raphinha again.
Indeed, fresh reports this weekend claim that Michael Edwards is preparing his signing as a ‘parting gift’ for Liverpool. Their departing sporting director has tracked Raphinha since his days in Brazilian football and is a long-term admirer.
However, speaking to Spanish outlet AS, Raphinha has outlined his big ambitions with Leeds.
“From my first days at the club, I already saw how special Bielsa was.
“He is a guy who works a lot, who knows a lot about soccer. He is the typical professional who dedicates 100% of his time to the institution he represents and we are very lucky that he is our coach. Bielsa knows how to get the most out of each one of us. This makes us raise our level.”
“I am very happy at Leeds and hopefully we can play the Champions League,” he added.
Raphinha has brought his spectacular Leeds form onto the international stage with Brazil. And when speaking about his national team coach, he revealed Tite has simply asked him to do exactly what he does for Leeds when turning out for the Selecao.
“Since I was a child, I always dreamed of playing for the national team. Being able to represent my country, my town, my neighbourhood, my people,” continued Raphinha.
“After many years of hard work, I have succeeded and I will do everything possible to continue my career in the national team.”
“Tite is a great person. [He is] An exemplary professional with a lot of wisdom. He asks me to do what I’m doing at Leeds.”
EXCLUSIVE: Leeds in midfielder hunt
Meanwhile, Leeds have joined the chase for Middlesbrough’s Marcus Tavernier and are considering a January move for the exciting midfielder, TEAMtalk has learned.
The Leeds-born 22-year-old’s versatility has never been more evident than in the current campaign. From just 15 league outings, Tavernier has played on the left of midfield, central, right and deep. He’s also on lined up on the right of a front three.
Tavernier signed a new deal in January 2020 with Middlesbrough, and that deal runs out in just over 18 months. It now remains to be seen if Boro can hang onto him beyond January with interest in the player hotting up.
Southampton, Brighton and Burnley have all been watching him closely in the last year. And according to our sources, Leeds are now very much in contention.
Leeds director of football, Victor Orta, is a confirmed fan of the player. He helped oversee his progress from the youth ranks during his time at the Riverside.
The Whites have been linked with making a January splash for a midfielder for some time. Easing the pressure on Kalvin Phillips is a clear need that wasn’t addressed in the summer.