Leeds United are playing a risky game over the futures of Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips amid claims they have postponed contract talks with the pair.
Raphinha is enjoying another good season at Elland Road, despite Leeds struggling for large parts of the campaign. The Brazil winger has found the net 10 times in 32 matches so far, making him the Whites’ top scorer as things stand.
Central midfielder Phillips, meanwhile, has made just 19 appearances this term. That’s due to him suffering a hamstring injury between December and March.
Phillips’ absence was definitely felt as Leeds won only three out of 14 league games without him in the squad.
With him back in the starting eleven, they have picked up a victory against Watford and draws with Southampton and Crystal Palace in recent weeks.
Both Raphinha and Phillips are picking up interest from major clubs. Barcelona are preparing to swoop for Raphinha in the summer.
And they could land the exciting 25-year-old for just £25million if Leeds suffer relegation to the Championship.
Phillips is supposedly on the radar of Manchester United, Liverpool and Aston Villa. Plus, West Ham made a £50m bid for him in January.
New Leeds stance on Raphinha, Phillips
90Min, meanwhile, have provided a report on the futures of Raphinha and Phillips in West Yorkshire. They claim contract talks between Leeds and the two players are on hold until the end of the season.
This stance has been taken by the club so they can focus on remaining in the top flight.
Recent wins for Everton and Burnley have dragged Jesse Marsch’s team back into the fight for survival.
Barcelona price for Raphinha if Leeds get relegated
Barcelona want to sign Raphinha from Leeds United but don’t want to pay half of wanted fee if Leeds get relegated
The move makes sense, as Marsch will want everyone at the club pulling in the same direction. But it is also risky, given there is so much interest in Raphinha and Phillips.
A new contract, which will include improved wages, is Leeds’ best strategy in keeping the duo away from Europe’s top teams.
So putting the discussions on hold increases the risk of them being swayed in the next few months.
It could be argued Phillips is the more likely star to remain at Leeds. He is a lifelong supporter of the club, meaning it will be harder to convince him over a transfer elsewhere.
Raphinha has also been loyal to the Whites in recent months. But it will be hard for him to reject the attractive proposal Barca can put on the table.
Should the wide man move on, then Leeds could replace some of his goal output by capturing Frankfurt ace Daichi Kamada.