Noel Whelan insists Leeds United attacker Raphinha will stay at Elland Road this summer as reports continue to link him with a transfer away.
Following his £17million move from Rennes, Raphinha impressed in his debut Premier League season. The Brazilian scored six and assisted nine goals in 30 appearances. He was undoubtedly a stand-out performer as Leeds secured an impressive ninth place finish.
But on the back of his displays, plenty of teams are said to be considering swoops for him.
Those interested include Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City.
He also has admirers further afield, with Borussia Dortmund eyeing him as a potential replacement for Jadon Sancho.
Raphinha has admitted he is flattered by the attention from those clubs, but insists leaving is not on his mind.
“I am still under contract for another four years and have not even thought about leaving this club, because I am still happy and want to make other people happy here” he said.
Raphinha will become a Leeds ‘God’
Now, Whelan says he is confident that the winger will stay focused on Leeds and turn down any approaches for him.
The former Whites forward also cited past examples of players finding that the grass is not always greener after moving to ‘bigger’ clubs.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “The club have looked after him very well. Signing any player is a gamble, whether they are established or not. Harry Kane could go to Manchester City and not do well.
“We’ve seen it before. Robbie Keane went to Liverpool from Tottenham and wasn’t the same player.
“Raphinha’s lit up the Premier League, he’s been fantastic. He gets you off your seat and plays with a freedom you can only admire.
“I just think the club have looked after him and he respects what they have done for him.”
After a fantastic first year back in the top flight, there is excitement about what Leeds could achieve next term. And that is another factor that Whelan believes Raphinha will take into consideration.
“Why would you not be excited about the future? There are big things happening, plenty of investment into Elland Road,” he added.
“Hopefully we can sign some stars in the summer as well. Everything is looking bright and Raphinha looks comfortable.
“He’s not been welcomed by the fans yet but when that happens he’ll be loving it and not wanting to leave Leeds even more. He will be a god, trust me.”
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