Liverpool face competition to sign £34m rated Leeds United winger as Chelsea enter January transfer race

A titanic Premier League transfer battle could be about to unfold in the January window as two title challengers target a Brazilian international.

<p>Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool is challenged by Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road on September 12, 2021 </p>

Virgil van Dijk of Liverpool is challenged by Raphinha of Leeds United during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Liverpool at Elland Road on September 12, 2021

Liverpool have reportedly been interested in bringing Leeds United star man Raphinha to Anfield for several months now but it looks like they may have competition for the Brazilian’s signature just as the January transfer window gets set to open.

Chelsea are understood to have entered the race to sign the 25-year old and it looks like he will be in high demand next month.

Other top clubs in European Football have also been rumoured to be keen as Marcelo Bielsa could face a fight to keep his top goalscorer at Elland Road.

Here’s everything you need to know about the latest transfer news surrounding Raphinha.

Raphinha of Leeds United prepares to take a penalty which leads to his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on December 18, 2021

How likely are Leeds United to sell Raphinha in January

Although Leeds United have openly admitted that they will have to consider players sales in order to follow a similar model to Leicester City, they are doing their best to keep hold of Raphinha.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the Brazilian’s contract is due to run out on June 30 2024 and talks are ongoing over an improved deal at Elland Road.

Leeds signed the winger from Rennes in October 2020 for £17 million and would probably look for more than double that amount to let him leave next month.

The 25-year old is thought to be valued somewhere in the £34 million region but, with the Whites currently fighting a relegation battle in the Premier League, they may have even less desire to sell their current MVP.

Who is interested in signing Raphinha?

Liverpool have been linked with Raphinha for months now and it looked as if they would have to compete with German heavyweights Bayern Munich to sign the Brazilian.

However, talk of a move to the Bundesliga side has cooled and the latest reports have claimed that Chelsea are set to “enter the race” to land the winger.

The Blues are thought to be looking to strengthen their firepower in the January transfer window with many of their attacking midfield options failing to regularly find the back of the net this season.

A move to Stamford Bridge for Raphinha could spell the end for the likes of Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech - who have both been linked with moves away from the Blues.

It appears that SkyBet have yet to update their betting market on which club Raphinha will sign for before February 3 2021 with Bayern Munich still listed as favourites (2/1) and Chelsea not in the market.

Liverpool are listed as second favourites but it seems a move might be unlikely at 7/1 while PSG, Manchester United and Newcastle United are all long shots.

Former Liverpool favourite set for Barcelona exit

hilippe Coutinho of FC Barcelona runs with the ball during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Betis at Camp Nou on December 04, 2021

In other transfer news, Barcelona are looking to offload a former Liverpool favourite next month.

Philippe Coutinho, who was a stand out for the Reds between 2013 and 2018 before moving to the Nou Camp, is looking increasingly likely to be leaving the Spanish side and could be set for a return to the Premier League.

Newcastle United have been linked with the player ever since their Saudi Arabia backed takeover but recent reports from Spain suggest that Arsenal are the preferred destination of the Brazilian.