Brazil team-mate Neymar has encouraged Paris Saint-Germain to make an approach for Leeds United’s Premier League talisman Raphinha in 2022, as reported by TEAMtalk.
How on earth do you replace arguably the finest forward in world football?
That is a question PSG forced Barcelona to consider when they snared Lionel Messi over the summer. And, 12 months on, the Ligue 1 champions could find themselves in a very similar predicament, powerless to prevent a talismanic attacker departing on a free transfer.
Perhaps the biggest compliment that can be paid to Kylian Mbappe is that, since completing his move to the French capital in August, Messi has largely played second fiddle to a man who was just ten years old when the six-time Ballon D’Or winner lofted a header into Edwin Van der Sar’s net during the 2009 Champions League final.
But much to the frustration of sporting director Leonardo and president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, Real Madrid are like catnip to the World Cup-winning, Parisian posterboy.
And if PSG think Mbappe is going to turn down a move to the Santiago Bernabau when his contract expires next July, then they must have their heads buried in the Paris Plages sand.
Could Raphinha replace Kylian Mbappe at PSG?
According to TEAMtalk, Les Parisiens are reluctantly drawing up a list of potential Mbappe successors.
And after a couple of Man of the Match performances during the October international break, newly-capped Brazil international appears to be the number one choice of one of the most influential people at the Parc des Princes – fellow Selecao star Neymar.
It is understood that £200 million superstar has advised Leonardo and co to make a move for Raphinha next year, though PSG are likely to be competition in the shape of Premier League giants Liverpool.
Raphinha’s agent, former Barcelona ace Deco, admitted told Globo Esporte last week that Liverpool have also expressed an interest, while suggesting that Leeds would consider cashing in next summer.
Wherever Raphinha ends up, he is destined to earn Leeds a substantial profit on their £17 million investment.