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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is reportedly ready to sacrifice Takumi Minamino in part-exchange for Raphinha as the Reds prepare to step up their interest in the Brazilian. The Champions League finalists are looking to bolster their forward options heading into the 2022/23 season with Sadio Mane now expected to depart for Bayern Munich.
Raphinha was a player Liverpool were looking at in January before they moved to sign Luis Diaz from Porto and now he is seemingly back on their radar.
According to The Sunday Mirror, Liverpool are ready to launch a move for the 25-year-old Leeds man – even if it means including Minamino in a deal.
Leeds were interested in Minamino in January but a move never materialised.
Now the Whites are managed by his former RB Salzburg boss Jesse Marsch, increasing the likelihood of a transfer.
Minamino scored against Liverpool for Salzburg under Marsch in the 2019/20 Champions League group stages before signing for the Reds just three months later.
Now he could be used ‘as the bait’ in a deal for Raphinha, who is continuing to tickle Liverpool’s fancy.
Mohamed Salah has confirmed he will stay put next season but there are doubts over his long-term Anfield future.
He could effectively run down the final year of his deal so he can leave as a free agent in 2023, which Liverpool are strongly against.
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Raphinha is one of the players who is considered to be an adequate replacement, although Leeds are willing to play hardball.
Their survival saw a £21m relegation clause written into Raphinha’s contract scrapped. He does not have a normal release clause.
Leeds are set to demand upwards of £47m to keep their talismanic forward, who wants to play Champions League football.
Barcelona remain in talks over a deal but so far, their offers have been low-ball and way below Leeds’ valuation.
Liverpool have a whole host of Brazilian players that could play a part in helping convince Raphinha to choose Anfield as his next destination.
Alisson, Fabinho, and Roberto Firmino all play with the wide forward with the Selecao national team and the trio’s families also spend a lot of time together outside of football.
Chelsea and Manchester United have also looked at Raphinha in recent transfer windows despite failing to launch a formal bid.
Leeds are expected to lose Raphinha this summer but the Whites feel under no pressure to sell on the cheap.
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