Despite internet talk of a ‘£32m bid’ and a race to secure a signature, the YEP understands that the Reds have never declared interest or even asked the Whites about the Brazilian winger’s availability.
Raphina moved to Elland Road from Rennes for £17m with add ons, on deadline day last summer, and has taken the Premier League by storm with his all-action displays on the flank.
He scored six goals and added nine assists in his English top-flight debut campaign, but played a full part in Leeds’ pressing game, showing a work ethic to match any of Marcelo Bielsa’s players. His skills and tricks thrilled White supporters, creating a highlight reel full of entertaining moments.
His adaptation to Bielsaball was almost instantaneous and that allowed him to make the right-wing berth his own.
Inevitably, his performances have led to suggestions that ‘big six’ clubs are keen to prise him away from LS11 but as it stands, the supposed front runners Liverpool have made no approach.
With a contract that does not expire until the summer of 2024, Leeds are well placed to demand a huge fee if any potential suitors do come knocking.
Director of football Victor Orta went on the record recently to insist no bids have been made and none would be welcome for a player who could create ‘something beautiful’ at Leeds.
“Raphinha is a special case,” Orta told One Football.
“He has been brilliant from the moment he touched this club.
“But it wasn’t easy because he arrived in the last few days of the transfer window, really nervous and, honestly, he didn’t have a lot of time to decide.
“We saw an opportunity late on and gambled – just like he did with us – and, hopefully, this is the beginning of something beautiful.”
The Whites themselves are in the market for a winger this summer and Orta is currently narrowing down his options for an addition at left-back.