Liverpool urged to hijack Barcelona move for Raphinha as Mohamed Salah uncertainty grows

Liverpool's Salah wins PFA Player of the Season

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Gabby Agbonlahor has urged Liverpool to rival Barcelona for Leeds United winger Raphinha this summer and claimed that the Brazilian “would be perfect” for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Raphinha has been strongly linked with a move to the Nou Camp, but as the Spanish giant stall over paying the fee that Jesse Marsch’s club want for their prized asset, former Aston Villa striker Agbonlahor has wondered whether it may be worth Liverpool cashing in on Mohamed Salah and using those funds on Raphinha.

“I think he would be a good player for Liverpool,” Agbonlahor told Football Insider. “His better football is on the right and that position is taken up by Salah. Would they think ‘Salah can go then, we can get £30million, £40million with a year left on his contract’.

“I don’t see any top team not looking to sign Raphinha, I rate him that highly. He would be perfect for Liverpool but would Leeds want to sell him? Without him this season they would have definitely gone down.

“They might not want to sell him and will they try and make him too expensive for clubs to afford?”

If Liverpool do want to step up any interest in Raphinha, they will not only have to fend off Barcelona but also Arsenal. There is reportedly “genuine interest” from the Gunners according to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano but Leeds won’t accept anything less than £50million for him, despite signing attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson from Red Bull Salzburg for £22.2m last month.

Raphinha scored 11 Premier League goals last season, including on the final day as the Whites ensured survival with victory over Brentford. If he were to replace Salah this summer, Liverpool will have to convince the Egyptian to go back on his word as the PFA Player of the Year made it clear that he expects to stay at Anfield until the end of his current contract.

“I’m staying next season for sure,” Salah said last month. “That’s clear. I’m staying next season, let’s see after that. In my mind I don’t focus about the contract at the moment. I don’t want to be selfish at all. I even said that, like, two or one months ago.”

Liverpool have already agreed a fee worth up to a club record £85m for Benfica striker Darwin Nunez. Benfica released a statement on Monday morning that read: “In the early morning hours of this Monday (0:44 am), Sport Lisboa e Benfica – Futebol, SAD informed the Securities Market Commission (CMVM) that it had reached an agreement with Liverpool FC for the sale of all rights to the player Darwin Nunez, for the amount of €75m.

“To the CMVM, Benfica’s SAD also informed that the agreement provides for the payment of a variable remuneration, so the global amount of the sale could reach the amount of €100m. It is further informed that the aforementioned agreement is dependent on the signing of the player’s sports employment contract with Liverpool FC.”

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