Raphinha earns call up to Brazil national team in January, could miss PL game - report
Leeds star Raphinha has been called up to the Brazil squad for the January internationals, which could see him miss a Premier League game with Aston Villa according to Joe Donnohue.
The 25-year-old winger has been in excellent form for the Whites this season, scoring eight Premier League goals so far and registering one assist too.
Talks of a transfer to Bayern Munich were rife at Christmas, with Brazilian outlet TNT Sports reporting that a deal had been agreed between the two clubs although that never materialised.
It’s been reported that Leeds have however made a decision to keep the Brazilian during the transfer window and want to renew his contract [The Mirror].
Raphinha was called up by Tite to be part of the Brazil squad for international games against Ecuador and Paraguay on January 27th and February 2nd.
While Leeds currently have no games scheduled for that time period, following their exit from the FA Cup they could see their postponed Premier League fixture with Aston Villa rescheduled for that period, according to a tweet by Joe Donnohue.
The Midlands side were also knocked out of the FA Cup, meaning both sides will have a free calendar during that period.
If the game does get rescheduled for that period, then playing without Raphinha would be a huge blow for Marcelo Bielsa and the Whites.
The 25-year-old is currently the only player to score more than two Premier League goals for the club this season and his performances are a large reason for the amount of points they have.
With just four wins from 19 games this season, Leeds find themselves in a relegation battle heading into the second half of the season.
They are currently eight points clear of the relegation zone, but Burnley and Watford both have games in hand on them and could close that gap.
Raphinha will likely be a key member of the Brazil squad, with other wingers being called up not being so senior either and Brazil keen to secure qualification to the Qatar World Cup as soon as possible.
In other Leeds United news, Leeds in six-team race to sign ‘incredible’ PL winger, £15m deal on cards – report