Liverpool have reportedly been jolted in their chase for Raphinha, who is set to be retained securely by Leeds United beyond the summer.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Leeds United have no intention to part ways with Raphinha in the summer transfer window. Therefore, Liverpool have been handed a major blow in their bid to secure the services of the 24-year-old Brazilian forward.
Raphinha was a deadline-day signing for Leeds United last summer, making his way from Rennes to Elland Road in a £17 million deal. And, the player has not taken long to settle in at the Premier League club, having become a key figure under the tutelage of Marcelo Bielsa.
So far this term, Raphinha has 5 goals and as many assists in 21 Premier League appearances, which is a solid tally for a player in his maiden campaign in England. With his explosive outlook making him one of the most impressive forwards in the top-flight, clubs have started taking note of his talents. Chief among the suitors have been Liverpool.
The Premier League champions have endured a difficult 2020/21 campaign, with the defence of their title going haywire ever since the turn of the year. With the entire team blowing hot and cold, it has been mooted that a squad overhaul could be on the cards for Liverpool in the summer transfer window.
Attack is one of the areas that is likely to be addressed, with Raphinha emerging as a potential target for the Reds. With Mohamed Salah also being linked with a possible exit, Raphinha could be fast-tracked as a regular option for Jurgen Klopp. If Salah stays put, Raphinha could be another option to push the regulars, just like Diogo Jota did before injury hampered his campaign.
With Xherdan Shaqiri expected to be offloaded in the summer, Raphinha could potentially take his spot in the squad. However, Liverpool have now faced a bitter blow in pursuit of the 24-year-old Brazilian forward, with Leeds unwilling to accept any offers for a player who they view as a prized possession.
In fact, the report suggests that Leeds see Raphinha as a big part of their future and they are under no obligation to cash in on their best players to stay afloat. Liverpool will, thus, have to look elsewhere if they are to bolster their attack in the summer, with Raphinha unlikely to make his way to Anfield.