Tottenham could spend big on Leeds United star Raphinha and use him at wing-back
Tottenham are showing “big club behaviour” by chasing Leeds United star Raphinha but likely wouldn’t start him, according to Jack Pitt-Brooke.
The Athletic’s Spurs reporter doesn’t think the Whites’ Brazilian star would necessarily be an upgrade on either of their incumbent wide attackers in Son Hueng-min or Dejan Kulusevsky, and even suggested the 25-year-old could be used as a wing-back in Antonio Conte’s system.
His colleagues at The Athletic reported on Tuesday (14 June) that Spurs were battling their North London rivals Arsenal to sign the Elland Road man, who Leeds are “open” to selling if the asking price is met – Phil Hay had previously stated (3 June), again in The Athletic, that this was £60million-£70million.
But despite the Brazil international being the top man at United, he is thought to not be in line to start or play his preferred position if he went to the Champions League side.
In a discussion about Tottenham transfers that was posted to The Athletic’s YouTube Pitt-Brooke said:”Raphinha is obviously a tremendously exciting player, he’s been one of the best players in the Premier League at Leeds United.
“But Raphinha I don’t think necessarily would be a first choice player at Tottenham would he? I think he’d probably be a squad player, competing with Kulusevsky, maybe competing with Son, maybe playing at wing-back, maybe dropping into different positions.
“So Tottenham are in the mix to pay big money for someone who’s not even starting and that’s really big club behaviour.”
Spurs may be throwing their weight around having made it into the top-tier European competition but there is surely no possibility Raphinha makes this move.
They are sure to be able to afford the fee, in a way that Barcelona simply can’t currently, but it is not in the player’s interest to put himself in that situation.
Sport in Spain claim that he is so set on playing at the Camp Nou that he and his agent, Deco, are ignoring advances for far more money from within the English top flight.
With the Qatar World Cup only a few months away now, the last thing that the former Lennes player is going to settle for is sitting on the bench at a club that isn’t his top choice.
Liverpool were thought to hold an interest but after beating the Whites to the signing of full-back Calvin Ramsay the Liverpool Echo believes that is the end of their summer business.
Raphinha would have had a fight on his hands to get a start at Anfield as well, and outside of his preferred transfer to La Liga, which currently looks dead in the water without a major change in the financial situation there, Chelsea would appear to be the biggest threat.
The same report that outlined the interest from either side of the North London derby said the Stamford Bridge side also like him.
They are also in the Champions League and the futures of a number of their attacking players are uncertain, although a move for Ousmane Dembele could take precedence.
Remaining at Elland Road is genuinely beginning to look like the best option all round, although without a new contract the club would face losing him for much less next summer, but that is becoming more likely.
In other Leeds United news, another Whites star is expected to make a key decision towards his future this week.