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Leeds offered hope in Raphinha saga, player could now remain at Elland Road

Leeds could now keep Raphinha if Barcelona fail to stump up the necessary cash, according to Tim Vickery. The South American football expert says Raphinha knows he needs to continue playing, ahead of the World Cup.

Barcelona have long been linked with a move for Raphinha. The Brazilian is very keen on joining his agent Deco’s old side, but they are financially unable to sign him. Tottenham and Arsenal are also in the mix.

Raphinha has been a regular in the Brazil squad over the past 12 months. But he knows that to maintain his place in the side, he needs to be starting week in, week out. He might not get that luxury at the bigger clubs.

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Barcelona would be too good to turn down even if his place in the side is jeopardised. But with Barca struggling to afford him, Raphinha might prefer to remain at Leeds and start, than join Arsenal or Spurs – according to Vickery.

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“In Raphinha’s shoes, if it’s not Barcelona, they might be a temptation just to stay put because of the World Cup,” Vickery told TalkSPORT on Wednesday. “Normally, you’d go. But let’s not rock the boat.”

Vickery: Leeds could keep Raphinha as Barcelona struggle to raise cash

It makes sense. If Raphinha was to join Arsenal – who have seen a bid rejected – would he start above Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka? Perhaps, but it is not a definite. Saka and Martinelli are well-established at The Emirates.

Similarly at Spurs, Raphinha does not start above Son Heung-min. Dejan Kulusevski is on the right and has made an instant impact at Tottenham. Raphinha would struggle to get into their starting line-up, too.

He has most chance of a start at Barcelona under Xavi. With the World Cup at the end of the year, and with Barcelona struggling to afford him, his best chance of playing every week is at Elland Road.

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