Where next for Raphinha? Leeds United star attracting attention from Liverpool, PSG and Newcastle

Despite Leeds United struggling to reach their heights of last season, their Brazilian star has shone, so could he now be tempted with a move away from Yorkshire?

Leeds United's emphatic return to the Premier League was a success for many reasons. They climbed up to ninth, managed remarkable wins over Tottenham and Manchester City, and received plenty of plaudits for their style of play.

But one of their most underrated successes came in the transfer market, with the signing of Brazilian winger Raphinha from Stade Rennais for just £17million.

He turned out to be one of the summer's best signings, as he went on to score six and assist nine in his debut season.

This year is no different, and despite Leeds struggling in the bottom half of the table, they'd be much worse off without Raphinha's six goals in 13 games.

His superb form has, of course, attracted plenty of attention, and with rumours of a January move swirling, we take a look at his potential destinations.

Liverpool

Fabinho embraces Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool, Premier League

Of all the rumours surrounding Raphinha, a potential move to Liverpool is certainly the loudest.

Having recently been called up to the Brazilian national team, Raphinha met up with Liverpool stars AlissonRoberto Firmino and Fabinho, who the Leeds star has stated he is good friends with.

Fabinho has publicly discussed his desire to see Raphinha swap the white of Yorkshire for the red of Liverpool, saying: "In this market, there was a discussion about him going to Liverpool. For Liverpool, I was hoping that would happen. But in the end, he stayed."

Raphinha's agent has also addressed his client's potential Liverpool switch. "There are certainly several clubs that like him, and Liverpool do like him, there were approaches, but nothing official."

With interest all-but confirmed, it makes sense that Liverpool are the favourites to land the Brazilian. And, with Jurgen Klopp's record of developing attacking talent, Raphinha is surely interested too.

Whether or not Leeds decide to let him go midway through the season is another subject, but either way it only seems a matter of time before Liverpool make an official bid.

Paris Saint-Germain

Lionel Messi, PSG, Ligue Un

Another European powerhouse in pursuit of Raphinha are Paris Saint-Germain, who could soon be looking to replace Kylian Mbappe.

Regardless of his loyalties to Leeds, the prospect of playing alongside Lionel Messi in the Champions League has to entice Raphinha, and he already has experience in Ligue 1.

The 24-year-old came to Leeds from Stade Rennais, where he spent the 2019/20 season, making 28 appearances and scoring six goals.

He does seem to be enjoying himself in the Premier League, but if a move back to France was on the cards, then PSG will be an obvious choice.

However, this switch does seem to rely heavily on Mbappe's departure. That doesn't seem likely until the summer, and even then it's not guaranteed that the French side will turn their attention towards Raphinha as a replacement.

Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick, Manchester United vs Crystal Palace

If Raphinha is keen on staying in England and in the Premier League, then another possibility is a switch to Old Trafford.

It'd infuriate the Yorkshire side if their beloved star moves to their rivals in red, but it's a move that has happened plenty of times before - Rio Ferdinand, Eric Cantona and Denis Irwin all made the switch, while Daniel James recently went the other way.

The Red Devils also have some Brazilian stars of their own which could tempt Raphinha to move - Fred and Alex Telles are fellow internationals, while Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are fellow Portuguese speakers.

And, United will be hoping their on-pitch performances are also a factor in tempting the Leeds star. They are in the Champions League, which is a selling point on it's own, and with Ralf Rangnick now in charge, his record of developing new signings could further entice Raphinha.

The only issue is whether Rangnick would encourage the United board to pursue another attacker. Their striking department is already stacked and there are other positions that need addressing first.

Frankly, Leeds fans should be more worried about United swooping for Kalvin Phillips rather than Raphinha, but in what is a new era for the Manchester side, nothing can be ruled out.

Newcastle United

Eddie Howe, Newcastle United manager, Premier League

With Newcastle's new-found wealth comes an abundance of transfer rumours, one of which is that Raphinha could move to Tyneside to help Eddie Howe's side survive the drop.

This season it's highly likely that Newcastle find themselves below Leeds in the Premier League table, but there's no doubt the Magpies are aiming for the top, and quickly.

With Allan Saint-Maximin on one flank on Raphinha on the other, Howe would feel confident about keeping his side up. However Newcastle will struggle to get transfers over the line.

Everyone now knows about Newcastle's war chest, and so players aren't going to be sold on the cheap. If they want a player of Raphinha's calibre then they'll likely be looking at a fee upwards of £50million.

That's without factoring in Leeds' reluctance to sell their best player to a direct rival. It would certainly require a lot of ground work to get the deal across the line.

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