Expert suspects winger will reject new deal to ‘sign for Champions League club’

Alan Hutton suspects Leeds United star Raphinha will turn down a new contract so he can ‘sign for a Champions League club’.

The winger moved to Marcelo Bielsa’s side in 2020 from Rennes. They paid around £17million to bring him to the Premier League.

Raphinha was one of the league’s star performers during the 2020/21 campaign.

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The 25-year-old has also been in great form this season as he registered eight goals and two assists in his 18 Premier League appearances.

His form for Leeds coincided with his debut for Brazil last year and he has now been capped five times.

Raphinha’s current contract expires in 2024. Leeds hope he signs a contract extension.

Hutton is confident the ‘big teams’ will be monitoring the striker’s situation:

“He’s Leeds United’s standout performer at the moment,” said Hutton Football Insider.

“He makes them work, and everything good comes through him. Players turn to him for that moment of magic.

“It really doesn’t surprise me that they’re looking to tie him down for the long term because there will be a number of big teams monitoring the situation who would like a player like Raphinha.

“I totally understand why Bielsa and Leeds are trying to sign him.

“I’m sure he will have his own ambitions and want to play at the highest level. No disrespect to Leeds, but he will want to play in the Champions League at some point.

“He still looks happy to play for Leeds, but it will be interesting to see how the talks go. He could turn down the contract and sign for a Champions League club.

Earlier this week, Gabriel Agbonlahor suggested ‘it doesn’t make sense’ for Raphinha to stay at Leeds:

“I don’t think so, to be honest. I look at Raphinha and he knows he could play Champions League football tomorrow, he’s so good.

“It doesn’t make sense for him and his agent to sign for Leeds, to be honest.

“He’s onto bigger and better things than Leeds can offer him.”

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Edward L. Robinett