Italian officials eye Leeds United star Raphinha for nationality switch

Leeds United winger Raphinha is attracting attention from Italian officials after a stunning debut season in the Premier League, according to the Telegraph.

The newspaper reports that Raphinha, 24, is being eyed up to potentially play for the Italy national team in the future despite being born in Brazil.

Raphinha holds dual citizenship and as he’s yet to earn an international cap, he can still play for either Brazil or Italy.

Leeds’ Italy international?

It’s a bit of a shock that Raphinha hasn’t been called up to the Brazil national team based on how well he’s performed in the Premier League this season.

However, if he instead opts to play for Italy, then we would be all for it.

It means that if Raphinha does eventually emerge on the international scene, he would only be flying out to Italy every few weeks rather than halfway around the world to Brazil.

He wouldn’t be getting jetlag, he’d only spend a couple of hours in the air travelling and he would be far fresher to play for Leeds.

It just makes a lot more sense for him to play for Italy than Brazil.

However, the ultimate decision is down to Raphinha.

He’s good enough to play for Brazil and Italy.

The winger was born in Brazil and may feel more obliged to play for them if they come calling but there’s no doubt that Raphinha, who also holds an Italian passport, would feel an attachment to Italy, which makes more sense from a logistical point of view.

We’ll see what happens but they are two of the most historic nations in world football and we’d be proud to see Raphinha get a call-up for either of them.

In other Leeds United news, this £15.5million player has confirmed he’s been in talks with Leeds.