Liverpool could still throw spanner in works for Barcelona thanks to Raphinha advantage

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Liverpool could still trump Barcelona in the race for Raphinha, with reports claiming that the Reds can offer him more money despite the Blaugrana believing they have the Brazilian’s word he will join them in the summer.

The Leeds star, 25, has been in scintillating form this season with nine goals and three assists in just 27 games for the relegation-threatened side. His form has piqued the interest of many of Europe’s top sides, leaving the Whites open to bids in the hope that they receive a sizable fee for his services.

Having garnered interest from Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Barcelona, the Porto Alegre-born star is not short of options should he decide to leave Yorkshire. Reports claimed that Barca were the most likely option, having supposedly had a promise from Raphinha that he would join them in the summer.

But according to Sport, Liverpool could trump that bid by offering him a wage which the Spanish giants couldn’t match – bringing vital backup and squad depth to match the talent of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Luis Diaz. The report states that the trio are in a three-way tussle for his services, although Barcelona lead that at the moment.

Raphinha knows he would have a leading role in Catalonia given that Ousmane Dembele is set to depart the club and that Barcelona would not spend a huge sum on a player just to leave him on the bench. He has the unwavering support of Xavi, who would back the idea of his arrival.

But with Liverpool able to offer a bigger wage, and with more chances of competing for trophies, the Anfield outfit are still a huge option for Raphinha to consider. The reports come after news broke out of a £25million release clause in Raphinha’s contract in the event that Leeds go down.

If the Yorkshire side survive, however, the Brazil star has a release clause of £75m – which would give them a huge transfer kitty to become a top-half outfit. Manager Jesse Marsch praised the star after he was called up to the Brazil squad earlier this month.

“Well, I mean, he has to [stay], right?” Marsch said. “You’re not allowed to travel with the restrictions. So, yeah, we’ll have to evaluate the situation with him.

“I know he’s really eager to go with the national team, as he should be. He’s establishing himself with the Brazilian national team which, I think, is amazing. He’s such a good player. So, let’s see what happens. We [have] just got to go a little bit day by day with him.”

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