Leeds chiefs warned of ‘travesty’ that would await if star left for Liverpool

Date published: Wednesday 10th February 2021 3:20 - Jonny Whitfield

Noel Whelan has warned Leeds that they must not sell winger Raphinha at the end of the season, even if the reported interest in his signature is true.

Previous speculation has claimed that Liverpool are keen on the £17million October signing from Lille.

Indeed, the Reds are supposedly scouting the Brazilian ahead of a potential swoop. More tellingly, though, Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa has reportedly identified Douglas Costa as a replacement should he go.

Raphinha has proved a vital part of Leeds’ electric attacking play in recent weeks.

While always being a crucial presence, he has enjoyed an upturn of late, with two goals and two assists in the past four Premier League games.

Therefore, Whelan feels there is more to come from the forward and urged Leeds to keep him at Elland Road.

“They can knock on the door, but we are not a selling club,” the pundit told BBC Radio Leeds.

“We are not a club in financial difficulties. “We are building a team, and he is part of this rebuilding process.

“We are going to add other players – that’s going to complement him. If we sell him, that’s a travesty; it goes against what we are trying to do.

“I do not think that the regime here, that is what they want to do. They are building, they are happy.”

Raphinha has formed a particularly exciting understanding with striker Patrick Bamford in recent weeks. The winger is one of four stars who Whelan’s fellow pundit Ally McCoist picked out as his favourites from the team.

Overall, Raphinha has directly contributed to eight goals since signing from Lille.

Leeds reportedly open Bamford talks

Meanwhile, reports elsewhere claim that Leeds are keen to tie Bamford down to a new contract.

The 27-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough season for the Whites.

Having scored 16 Championship goals last term, he has bagged 12 in the Premier League from 22 appearances in 2020-2021.

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