Rumour Has It: Leeds United demands at least £60million to part ways with Raphinha

By Sports Desk June 04, 2022

Leeds United have placed a price-tag of at least £60million on star winger Raphinha, posing questions about whether interested party Barcelona will have the funds to complete a deal.

Raphinha was excellent for Leeds this past season, finishing second for the team in matches started (35), first in goals scored (11), second in assists (three) and converted all four penalties he was entrusted with.

Barcelona have been viewed as the primary suitor for the Brazilian winger, but with the price-tag continuing to rise, there is doubt about how the Spanish giants could pull it off.

 

TOP STORY – LEEDS TO HAND OUT NO DISCOUNTS FOR RAPHINHA

The Athletic is reporting that, as it stands, Barcelona will not have the funds to complete a move for Raphinha – or anyone close to his price-tag.

LaLiga president Javier Tebas controversially shared that Barca are in no position to sign Robert Lewandowski, but added that some big-name sales could "fill up their tank, which is empty".

The Blaugrana's continued interest in Raphinha, despite their financial position, adds fuel to the fire of a potential Frenkie de Jong sale to Manchester United, with his reported £72.5m price-tag potentially adding some much-needed spending power.

The Athletic also mentions Manchester City's Bernardo Silva, Valencia's Carlos Soler, Sevilla's Jules Kounde, as well as Chelsea duo Cesar Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso as potential Barcelona targets.

 

ROUND-UP

– GiveMeSport is reporting that Harry Kane "is likely" to sign a contract extension to remain at Tottenham.

– According to the Manchester Evening News, United have offered defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka to at least one club, and are also willing to part ways with England under-21 defender Brandon Williams.

– Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku is willing to take a pay cut to return to Inter, according to the Telegraph.

– ESPN is reporting United may challenge Ajax for the signature of Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn, with the Dutch club's interest beginning when Erik ten Hag was in charge.

– According to the Daily Mail, Tottenham and Chelsea will compete for RB Leipzig's 20-year-old Croatian defender Josko Gvardiol.

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  • Ferdinand absolves Ten Hag of Man Utd blame, insists De Jong pursuit must end Ferdinand absolves Ten Hag of Man Utd blame, insists De Jong pursuit must end

    Erik ten Hag is not to blame for Manchester United's woeful start to the Premier League season and the Red Devils' squad is simply "not at the standard required," according to former defender Rio Ferdinand,

    United's start to their first campaign under Ten Hag went from bad to worse on Saturday as they capitulated to a 4-0 defeat at Brentford, leaving them bottom of the Premier League table.

    The result saw the Dutchman become the first United manager to lose his first two games in the job for over a century – since John Chapman did so in November 1921.

    But when speaking on his FIVE podcast, Ferdinand defended the former Ajax head coach, instead taking aim at the club's players and owners, the Glazer family. 

    "I wouldn't blame Ten Hag right now. You can pick at his team selection or whatever, but this is a bigger problem; a wider problem than that," the six-time Premier League winner said.

    "I don't feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for Ten Hag. He's come in under false pretences. He's come in expecting new signings.

    "He's probably sitting there thinking: 'I've been sold a dummy here. I didn't know I was coming into this.'

    "Confidence was going to be low. He knew that, but he thought 'I'll be able to rebuild that.' But obviously, the players are not at the standard required; simple as that.

    "The results tell you that. This isn't a result over a month or two, this is a result over a long, sustained amount of time. You've had ample time to come back and show us your true selves. It's not happening."

    Turning his attention to the Glazers, Ferdinand asked: "Where the hell are they? Get here! Get over here.

    "This isn't like a normal business; this is a football club with heritage, with history, with character, with personality, real people involved. So, treat it like that.

    "They need to come here and communicate. Communication is one of the key components to being successful, from the top down.

    "They're not communicating with the fans, they're not communicating with the people, no one knows where they are, they can't put a face to it. I think that's disrespectful, and I think it's out of order.

    "They need to come here and put themselves right at the front and start shouldering some of this blame."

    Aside from their poor results, United have also come under fire for their approach to recruitment recently, with Gary Neville labelling the club "desperate" amid links to Marko Arnautovic last week.

    United's attempts to attract Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong to Old Trafford have evolved into one of the longest-running sagas of the transfer window, and Ferdinand called on the Red Devils to end their pursuit, accusing them of "begging" the Netherlands international to join.

    The former centre-half added: "They've walked around behind him, begging him, 'please turn round and notice us.'

    "He's looking around and saying 'not for me', and we're still there, 'please give us one chance.' How are we allowing ourselves to be put in a position like that?

    "Do you think Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Sir Alex [Ferguson] or Jose Mourinho would be following around a player like this? They wouldn't be doing that!"

    United's third Premier League outing of the campaign sees them take on Liverpool at Old Trafford on August 22, having shipped nine goals without reply against Klopp's men in two fixtures last term.

  • Rumour Has It: Man Utd ponder £30million move for Alvaro Morata Rumour Has It: Man Utd ponder £30million move for Alvaro Morata

    Manchester United are reportedly engaged in discussions with Atletico Madrid about a potential move for striker Alvaro Morata in an effort to add some much-needed firepower up front.

    Morata, 29, spent the past two seasons on loan at Juventus, where he racked up 32 goals and 21 assists in 92 club appearances, but with the Italian giants opting not to make it a permanent move, the Spaniard's future is unclear.

    He has been starting for Madrid in pre-season games – including netting a hat-trick against Juve earlier this month – but with Antoine Griezmann, Joao Felix and the club's top-scorer from last season Angel Correa all available, it appears Diego Simeone may prefer to cash in.

     

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    The report from The Athletic claims the Old Trafford side view a move for Morata as "a genuine possibility", with the price tag said to be in the neighbourhood of £30million.

    It highlights the state of United's current forward stocks, with Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard departing, while Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly requested a transfer, and the futures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial are considered up in the air.

    After a horrible beginning to their Premier League campaign, United are expected to be active for the remainder of the transfer period – with Metro also reporting Frenkie de Jong has told team-mates he will likely be headed to Manchester.

     

    ROUND-UP

    – The Daily Mail are reporting Chelsea have agreed to personal terms with 21-year-old Leicester City centre-back Wesley Fofana, although they have had two bids rejected as the asking price remains above £80m.

    – The Daily Mail also claims United have told Paris Saint-Germain that Rashford is not for sale, with the Times adding that the French giants view him as a long-term partner to Kylian Mbappe.

    – According to Sunday Express, Newcastle United have engaged Benfica in discussions about 21-year-old Portuguese midfielder Goncalo Ramos, who is said to be valued at £35m.

    – Fabrizio Romano is reporting 19-year-old Udinese full-back Destiny Udogie is in England for a medical to confirm his £15m move to Tottenham, although he will be loaned back to Udinese for the remainder of the season.

    Nottingham Forest have agreed to a £15m move for Brighton striker Neal Maupay, per The Athletic.

  • Premier League data dive: Man Utd hit 30-year low as outstanding Jesus downs Foxes Premier League data dive: Man Utd hit 30-year low as outstanding Jesus downs Foxes

    The second Saturday of the new Premier League campaign did not disappoint, serving up a thrilling comeback, a spectacular home debut and a familiar sinking feeling for Manchester United supporters.

    If last week's 2-1 loss to Brighton and Hove Albion represented a baptism of fire for Erik ten Hag, United's trip to Brentford provided further despair as the dismal Red Devils hit a 30-year low.

    There was more joy for rivals Manchester City as they cruised to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth, while Gabriel Jesus made good on his pre-season promise with a dominant performance against Leicester City.

    Here, Stats Perform trawls through Opta's data to bring you some of the best numbers from the day's Premier League action.

    Brentford 4-0 Manchester United: Ten Hag matches unwanted Chapman record against brilliant Bees

    Where do you start with this one? New United boss Ten Hag was left in no doubt regarding the side's problems when a Pascal Gross double sent them crashing to an opening-day defeat last week.

    But not even the most pessimistic United follower could have predicted their collapse in west London, as Ten Hag became the first Red Devils manager to lose his first two games at the helm since John Chapman in November 1921.

    Things got off to a dreadful start when David de Gea let Josh Dasilva's shot squirm into the net after 10 minutes; since the start of the 2018-19 season, only Jordan Pickford (11) has made more errors leading to Premier League goals than the Spaniard.

    Mathias Jensen, Ben Mee and Bryan Mbeumo joined Dasilva on the scoresheet by the 35th minute as Brentford scored with their first four shots on target, while Cristiano Ronaldo cut a dejected figure on his return to the United team.

    Only two teams had previously scored four first-half goals against United in a Premier League game; Tottenham in October 2020 and Liverpool in October 2021.

    The result is that United have begun a top-flight campaign with back-to-back defeats for the first time since 1992-93, the Premier League's inaugural season.

    And while the table has not quite taken shape two games in, United ended the day bottom of the Premier League for the first time since August 21, 1992.

    Arsenal 4-2 Leicester City: Miraculous home debut for Jesus

    Another side with Champions League ambitions has made a far brighter start to the Premier League season, as Mikel Arteta's Arsenal made it two consecutive wins with an entertaining victory over Leicester.

    Former Manchester City forward Jesus was hailed as a coup for the Gunners when he arrived in the off-season, and he enjoyed a home debut to remember by scoring two goals and adding two assists.

    In doing so, the Brazilian became the first player to score multiple goals on his home Premier League bow for Arsenal, as well as the first Gunners player to double up for goals and assists in a single league game since Theo Walcott against Newcastle in December 2012 (three goals, two assists).

    Before Jesus assisted compatriot Gabriel Martinelli for Arsenal's fourth goal, he became the 12th different Brazilian to score in the Premier League for Arsenal – the most of any side in the competition's history.

    Jesus was not the only player to impress, however, with Granit Xhaka both scoring and assisting in the same match for the first time in an Arsenal shirt, 252 games into his Gunners career.

    Leicester, meanwhile, were subjected to a familiar feeling of frustration in north London – this was the sixth time they have conceded at least four goals in a Premier League game against Arsenal.

    Manchester City 4-0 Bournemouth: Champions cruise despite quiet day for Haaland

    Home teams hitting four goals seemed to be a theme of the day, as Pep Guardiola's Premier League champions followed up a win at West Ham by cruising past Bournemouth.

    Scott Parker's team were likely not expecting a result at the Etihad Stadium; City have now won all 11 of their Premier League matches against Bournemouth, the best 100 per cent winning record against a particular team in the competition's history.

    A Jefferson Lerma own goal came after strikes from Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Phil Foden, as the Cherries made it 17 league matches without a win against City in their history – the most one side has faced another without a victory in English league history.

    Kevin De Bruyne was at his creative best for City, scoring his 16th league goal since the start of last season before teeing up Foden's strike.

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    Southampton 2-2 Leeds United: Saints manage rare comeback as Aribo opens account

    Elsewhere, Jesse Marsch's Leeds failed to make it two wins from two as Southampton launched a stirring comeback on the south coast.

    Rodrigo was on the scoresheet in a win over Wolves last week before hitting a brace at St Marys, making him the first player to score three goals in Leeds' first two games of a Premier League season since Alan Smith in 2000-01.

    But Leeds could not hold on, failing to win after going two goals ahead for only the second time in their last 36 Premier League games, and for the first time in 14 such contests (since a 3-3 draw with Charlton Athletic in May 2004).

    Southampton have now avoided defeat in two of the last five Premier League games where they have gone two goals down (also a 2-2 draw against Brighton in April), but their love of a comeback is a new characteristic.

    Before April, the Saints had only managed one win and one draw from the last 58 Premier League games in which they went two goals behind.

    Joe Aribo represents one of their most impressive additions following his arrival from Rangers, and his goal made him the first Nigerian to score in the Premier League for Southampton, as well as the 38th in the competition's history overall.

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