Eddie Gray hopeful that survival can convince Raphinha to stay at Leeds United
Leeds United legend Eddie Gray is hopeful that Premier League survival will be enough to persuade Raphinha that he should stay at Elland Road this summer.
The Brazilian winger has been linked with a move to Spanish giants Barcelona this summer [Sport], after two seasons of brilliant performances in the famous white shirt.
But after scoring a crucial penalty on the final day of the season to help the team stay up, club legend Gray told talkSPORT that he expects plenty of interest in the 25-year-old and praised him for his performances since joining the club.
“Raphinha will be well sought after, because he can play,” he said.
“His penalty kick yesterday under the circumstances was tremendous. In a side that’s struggling, that’s [scoring double figures] something.
“He plays the game like a typical Brazilian. He’s a great talent who loves the game. Now every time he’s played for our club he always puts it in, puts a shift in every time.
“So, I mean I think he’ll be well sought after by other clubs in the league but hopefully us staying in the Premier League will persuade him that Leeds United are his club.”
It seems almost inevitable that the club will have to field offers for their star man this summer, but whether or not they can keep hold of him is unclear.
Right now they are keen to offer the player a new contract and there had been openness towards that after the January transfer window, but the interest of Barcelona seemed to turn his head.
Now all the talk seems to be about how much it will cost to get him out of the club, with his reported £25m relegation clause no longer a factor in negotiations.
It will be an expensive deal now for anyone to do, which definitely helps Leeds’ case when it comes to keeping hold of him for another year, but the scenes in the last two games have certainly looked as though he expects an exit.
There was a long goodbye at Elland Road, followed by wild scenes with fans at Brentford and fans will not begrudge him a big move although everyone’s preferences is that he stays for another year at least.
In other Leeds news, Gary Lineker reacts to amazing photo of Raphinha with Leeds United fans