With United’s pursuit of Jadon Sancho being declared ‘on hold’ earlier this week, attention has now turned to right-wing alternatives and one name has emerged as a leading contender – Raphinha.
Italian transfer expert Gianluigi Longari claims that United and Liverpool are keen on the Leeds player, who has scored five goals and provided five assists for the Yorkshire outfit this season.
The 24-year-old is well-known to United star Bruno Fernandes, who played alongside him for the 2018/19 season at Sporting Lisbon.
— Gianluigi Longari (@Glongari) February 24, 2021
It is an interesting report for a number of reasons, not just the Bruno connection. With a market value of just €18 million (£16m) according to Transfermarkt, Raphinha will be considerably cheaper than the likes of Sancho, has proven Premier League experience and yet is still young.
Signing a right winger at a modest price would allow Solskjaer to strengthen in that position whilst retaining his ‘marquee signing money’ for another position, such as centre-back or striker.
Raphinha would become the third Brazilian at the club, alongside Alex Telles and Fred, and the fourth Portuguese speaker including Fernandes. This could potentially be seen as an advantage in terms of his ability to settle in quickly.
However, with Liverpool and other clubs also pursuing him and Leeds in no mood to sell, the Red Devils will have a battle on their hands. One potential ace up their sleeve could be sending Dan James the other way, a player who has long been coveted by Marcelo Bielsa.
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