A new Leeds United contract for Raphinha will not stop him leaving for a bigger club if such interest arrives, according to one pundit.
The Brazilian has made himself one of the first names on the team sheet following his 2020 move from Rennes. In fact, he has proved one of the Premier League’s most cost-effective signings in that period.
Raphinha has scored eight goals and assisted two others in 20 games in all competitions this term. And that means he has a record of a goal every 208 minutes for Marcelo Bielsa’ side.
His performances have seen teams such as Liverpool and Bayern Munich reportedly register interest in signing him.
According to former Premier League striker Phillips, though, extending Raphinha’s terms will make no difference to his future.
“I think it makes no difference,” the pundit told Football Insider.
“Whether you put a player on a new contract or not, if a big club comes in they generally get the player.
“It’s a great gesture. It’s all they can do really, show the ambition to say: ‘We’re offering a good deal to these players. We want them to stay.’
“Ultimately it’s the player’s decision and I think new deals, nowadays, don’t really make a big deal of difference.”
Indeed, while Leeds would love to keep Raphinha, they would also be hard-pushed not to make a significant profit on their star player.
Overall, Raphinha has scored 14 goals and assisted 11 others in 51 games for Leeds.
As well as Liverpool, Bayern and Chelsea, West Ham have strong links with a move for Raphinha.
Raphinha was West Ham January target
In fact, they reportedly had a bid rejected for the Brazilian late on in January. Leeds, though, were unwilling to sell midway through the season and while they try to keep themselves away from the bottom of the table.
Speaking on Friday, though, West Ham boss David Moyes refused to confirm whether Raphinha was a Hammers January target.
He said: “I’d never tell you my targets because that would be wrong even the names you are mentioning I could not guarantee if you were correct or not.
“But what I do want to do is be ambitious here at West Ham. I want to bring in good players and I want to add to what I think is a really good squad, we are building on it. Sometimes, getting things you actually want, you have to wait a little bit longer.
“We were not able to get it this January window. But I think it was quite obvious to most clubs, as I said I think it was nine clubs who didn’t do any business in January, so it should be no surprise to a lot of people that we were one but we did try very hard I have to say.”
Leeds return to action on Wednesday when facing Aston Villa in Premier League action.