Leeds United's Raphinha during the Premier League match at Elland Road, Leeds.

Liverpool “will definitely have interest” in Raphinha – but “never” made Leeds contact

While it would be no surprise if Liverpool harboured an interest in Leeds‘ Raphinha, they have yet to make it known to his employers in either a formal or informal setting.

The 24-year-old made an impressive start to life at Elland Road, netting eight goals and setting up a further 11 in an eye-catching debut campaign.

With Liverpool to be in the market for attacking reinforcements this summer to add another spark amid expected departures, they could do worse than look at the Brazilian.

The Reds have seen their name tied to Raphinha throughout the 2020/21 season, with France Football one of many to claim interest from Jurgen Klopp‘s side following his £17 million switch last summer.

And on Thursday a new report emerged from Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari, claiming the Reds were ‘leading the race’ for his signature, with Man City and Man United also interested suitors.

But according to chief football writer Graham Smyth at the Yorkshire Post, while Liverpool “will definitely have interest” in Raphinha, they “have never made contact” with Leeds for him.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, September 12, 2020: Leeds United's manager Marcelo Bielsa during the opening FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Leeds United FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Liverpool won 4-3. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

On the reliability scale, it favours Smyth, who further states that Liverpool have not declared an interest or tested the waters for the winger.

However, if they or any other club was to do so, Raphinha would not be easy to prise away as Leeds are in a strong position to demand a “huge” fee.

He is tied to Elland Road until 2024 and they would need a hefty advance on the £17m outlay to even consider letting their new star man go.

There’s no questioning his suitability to Klopp’s system, with his work ethic and versatility one that could create further competition in attack.

Liverpool will likely have alternative options they will pursue this summer, but the continued financial implications of the pandemic will see Michael Edwards come to the fore once more to get the right deal over the line.