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Raphinha on the verge of signing new long-term contract at Leeds United

Leeds United are closing in on agreeing a new long-term deal with Brazilian star Raphinha after the club ruled out selling him in the current January transfer window. It’s expected he will become the highest-paid player at Elland Road.

The 25-year-old, who joined the Whites for £17m from Rennes in October 2020, has become their most important player over the last 12 months and has attracted interest from Europe’s big hitters.

However, Leeds have yet to receive any official approaches for Raphinha with heavily-linked Bayern Munich officially ruling out signing him on Tuesday, paving the way for the West Yorkshire club to tie him down to a much-improved, lengthier contract.

It will allow them to demand a significant fee should anyone make a play for the Brazil international, with Liverpool also an admirer having opted against bidding for the winger last summer despite strong interest.

Raphinha is Leeds’ top scorer in the Premier League this season with eight goals and has been the standout performer in a struggling team currently ravaged by injuries and sitting in 16th.

Despite that, the former Sporting and Rennes star is believed to be happy at Elland Road and is committed to lifting the club away from danger and towards a repeat of last season’s mid-table finish.

It’s also murmured that Raphinha wants to repay the faith shown in him by manager Marcelo Bielsa who has revitalised the trickster’s career since he arrived in England – with his move to LS11 following an unsuccessful stint in France with Rennes.

Ex-Barcelona and Chelsea midfielder Deco is the agent of Raphinha and it’s reported by the Daily Mirror’s David Anderson that he met up with Leeds Sporting Director Victor Orta twice before Christmas to continue contract talks over a new deal for his client.

Raphinha’s current contract runs until 2024 but Leeds want their star man to remain in white until at least 2026, with his new deal set to make him the highest-paid player at the club above Rodrigo and Kalvin Phillips.

The exact wage figure is still undisclosed and it’s unknown whether there will be a release clause in there and what that number will be – the main thing from Orta’s point of view is to ensure his star asset stays happy and that the final round of talks with his agent Deco go smoothly.

Whatever the outcome of Leeds other transfer dealings in this window, it’s unlikely any other signing will come close to the importance of this one with Raphinha’s signature almost certain to guarantee the club’s Premier League status for another season in many people’s eyes.

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