As rumours of Sadio Mané’s potential move to Bayern Munich heat up, there are naturally rumours regarding who Liverpool FC would pursue as a replacement for the Senegalese attacker. Leeds United’s Raphinha, who has been linked to Liverpool in the past, is the leading candidate if rumours are to be believed.
According to the Mirror, Liverpool will have to contend with Barcelona to secure the Brazilian’s signature, but the Catalan club’s ongoing financial problems could put the Reds in the driver’s seat.
The Mirror also reports that Liverpool have another advantage — Takumi Minamino.
Apparently, Leeds manager Jesse Marsch, knowing a player of Raphinha’s quality is not likely to stay with a side that barely escaped relegation for much longer, is said to be eying potential replacements. If this report is to be believed, Marsch is hopeful of adding Minamino should Raphinha leave.
Thus, it makes sense that a deal involving Minamino going the other way could help get a Raphinha transfer across the line. Although no fee is mentioned for Raphinha, Leeds are likely looking for a large payday for the 25-year-old. Somewhere in the neighborhood of £60-£70 million isn’t hard to imagine.
Given this entire deal would be contingent on Mané leaving, and that deal would be likely to net Liverpool £40-£50 million, the actual cost of Raphinha would essentially be Mané, Minamino, and possibly a bit more cash. That seems like a pretty good deal for a player like Raphinha, assuming Liverpool are actually interested.
And that’s where this one becomes iffy. The Mirror is not exactly a trustworthy outlet when it comes to rumours, and there don’t seem to be any rumblings from any of the club-connected journalists who would pick this up if there were any real truth behind it. So, while this seems like a logical, interesting deal, it’s hard to give it much consideration until Liverpool’s interest is confirmed by an actual source.