By Adefunmiloye Alani

19th Oct, 2021 | 3:10pm

McManaman: Liverpool could go all out for Raphinha in January

Steve McManaman believes Liverpool could go all in for the signature of Leeds United ace Raphinha in January if they suffer an injury crisis.

The agent of the 24-year-old Brazil international attacker suggested this month that the Anfield giants are one of the teams interested in snapping up the Whites man [GE], but McManaman does not see a winter transfer move on the cards.

However, the former Liverpool star believes nothing can be ruled out, tipping his old team to make a firm move for Raphinha should they suffer an injury crisis in the attacking department.

The BT Sport pundit told HorseRacing: “Raphinha’s agent Deco may have come out and stated that Liverpool are interested in the player, but I think he will stay at Leeds this season.

“He will stay at Leeds. He won’t leave halfway through the season and Leeds certainly won’t want to sell him at the midway stage in the campaign.

“I also don’t think Liverpool will have the funds to sign him halfway through the season. The only way something like that could happen would be if Liverpool suffered a huge amount of injuries, which is something you don’t want to happen to any football club.

“He’s a really good player and he’s been scoring recently for Brazil, but I expect him to see out the season with Leeds.”

Tough one

Leeds are definitely bracing themselves for summer bids for the former Rennes star, but could a January exit happen?

Liverpool will be without Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane in the New Year, with the duo set to play at the African Cup of Nations for their countries.

Jurgen Klopp’s side could be without their key attackers for as much as six or seven games, and should things get worse and their other options get injured, they will definitely be looking to recruit.

No one exactly knows if Raphinha is indeed in their plans, but the Elland Road favourite definitely has admirers at Anfield.

He has established himself as one of the most exciting forwards outside of the top-six, and he is capable of playing for any of them.

Leeds will most likely hold on to their gem beyond the middle of the season, but whether they can be able to keep him beyond the summer is a different matter entirely.

In other Leeds United news, Jeff Stelling has slammed Sky Sports pundit who mocked Whites in 1-0 loss v Southampton.