Bielsa ready to lose Leeds star to Liverpool with Serie A ‘bombshell’ eyed

Date published: Monday 8th February 2021 5:27 - Jonny Whitfield

Raphinha Leeds

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa will reportedly target a move for Juventus winger Douglas Costa if the interest in Raphinha leads to him leaving in the summer.

Reports last weekend claimed that Liverpool scouts are watching Whites’ October arrival Raphinha with intent.

The £17million signing has scored four goals and assisted four others in 16 Premier League appearances. Indeed, he marked his most recent appearance with a goal against Everton, while assisting in the two previous games.

Losing the Brazilian would be a blow to Leeds after only one season, but according to Fichajes, it is one which Bielsa is willing to accept.

That is because the Leeds coach has identified Costa – also from Brazil – as his replacement.

Costa is currently on loan at Bayern Munich from Juventus, but has struggled to find match action. He has only played 11 of 20 Bundesliga games, never featuring for more than 68 minutes.

What’s more, with his contract in Italy running out in 2022, this summer will be an ideal time to sell up to avoid him leaving on a free transfer.

In any case, the winger reportedly has ‘no plans’ to stay in Turin when he returns to his parent Serie A club.

Douglas Costa

Therefore, he could move to the Premier League under a manager who feels he ticks three key boxes.

Bielsa is an admirer of Costa’s pace, dribbling ability and eye for goal. In addition, he is seeking a new adventure, with the English top flight unchartered territory for him to date.

Costa began his career in his native Brazil before moving to Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010. He then moved to Western Europe in 2015 and has gone between Bayern and Juventus since then.

As such, Fichajes claims that Costa could be a ‘bombshell’ signing if he could rediscover his best form in England.

Bielsa offers Hernandez reassurance

Pablo Hernandez Leeds United

Meanwhile, speaking prior to Monday’s clash with Crystal Palace, Bielsa said that Pablo Hernandez still has a role to play.

Hernandez is a hugely popular figure in West Yorkshire. He is regarded as United’s best signing in the last 20 years.

After playing a leading role in their promotion to the Premier League, he has found himself on the periphery this season.

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