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Raphinha submits transfer request but Leeds on the verge of signing Aaronson
Tuesday, 24th May 2022 23:03 by Tim Whelan

No sooner has our Premier League survival been confirmed, than the summer’s transfer business has begun. It’s been known for some time that Raphinha was interested in a move to Barcelona and that Leeds were after Brenden Aaronson, but now there is talk of Manchester City being interested in Kalvin Phillips.

According to ‘Football Transfers’, Leeds have rejected an intial €55m (£47m) bid from Barcelona for Raphinha, but this has now prompted the player himself to hand in a transfer request. We thought that his spirited contribution to our crucial win at Brentford and his joy at our survival might have meant he wanted to stay, but that might just have been his professionalism and his thank you for the good time he’s had at Elland Road.

Spanish outlet ‘Sport’ have claimed that the 25-year-old feels "psychologically liberated" after we avoided the drop, but now feels it’s time to move on. They also say he wants his future to be sorted out by Thursday when he will travel to link up with Brazil for their Asian tour. Leeds are expecting Barcelona to come back with an improved offer, but Liverpool and Newcastle are reported to be sniffing around in case they don’t get the deal over the line.

One benefit of Raphinha requesting a transfer is that we won’t now have to pay him a percentage of the transfer fee, which will boost our transfer kitty for the inevitable rebuilding of the squad that will happen during the summer months. Radz has admitted that despite the relief our survival has brought “this is not success” and will be determined to ensure that we will not be in this position again.

The first recruit is likely to be Brenden Aaronson from Jesse Marsch’s former club Red Bull Salzburg. We had two offers for the attacking midfielder rejected in January, but we have gone back with an improved offer of £24m. The 21 year-old made 41 appearances last season, including six goals and 10 assists as the Austrian’s won the title for the ninth consecutive time and reached the last 16 of the Champions League.

Phil Hay has reported that although the player has yet to agree personal terms or have a medical, the deal is not expected to hit any snags. Leeds are believed to have offered the young American a three year deal, and Hay says that an official announcement of his signing can be expected very soon.

Another top player who might be moving on is Kalvin Phillips, as we have yet to persuade the local lad to agree to an extension to his current contract. He is now 26 and despite his ties to the mighty whites, he might want to spend the peak years of his career at a club who will be playing Champions League football and challenging for the major trophies.

So it is that the Daily Mail are reporting that Manchester City have identified him as their preferred option to replace their departing captain and defensive midfielder Fernandinho. They are already on the verge of signing Erling Haaland, and obviously think that only one Leeds-born player just isn’t enough.

One player who has already moved on is 19 year-old Nohan Kenneh, who is on his way to Hibs, despite the best efforts of the club to persuade him to stay. He has gone in search of regular first team football, but according to Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Graham Smyth, we saw him as “a very good lad, has worked his socks off for his education as well as his football.”

He was a regular on the substitute’s bench for Leeds this season and, but never made his first-team debut. He did manage to achieve the rare feat of finishing his Leeds career with more yellow cards than appearances via his booking during the wild celebrations at Wolves. There must be a pub quiz question in there somewhere.

If he’d been a little more patient he might have had a better chance of a first team breakthrough in 2022/3 if Phillips does leave, as Kenneh likes to operate in a similar position. But he might have been frustrated in not having joined several of his under 21 teammates in getting the nod in the season just gone, and that his way might still have been blocked by incoming transfers as Leeds refresh the squad during the transfer window.

Other speculation on offer is that Newcastle are interested in signing Jack Harrison and that Leeds are after a Premier League striker, names in the frame being Eddie Nketiah and Takumi Minamino. Please tell me it isn’t Chris Wood. There will be plenty more transfer stories in the weeks to come, so watch this space.


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