In what seemed to pop out of thing air, Leeds United’s Brazilian winger Raphinha was linked with a potential move to Bayern Munich during the January transfer window for of a fee of around €50 million. Bayern’s front office had been adamant that there would more than likely not be any business done during the winter transfer window other than a few outgoing players, but Brazil based outlet TNT Sport Brasil had broken the story that a potential transfer was on the cards for either this winter or the summer.
Raphinha’s current contract with Leeds runs through June 2024, but The Athletic reported over the weekend that Leeds is working on a potential contract extension for their Brazilian winger. However, new information from Sky Sports Germany suggests that the topic of a potential transfer to Bayern is something that’s being seriously considered at the club in the event that Kingsley Coman doesn’t renew his contract and decides to leave. His current contract at Bayern runs through June 2023 and Bayern is making it their top priority during the winter transfer window to determine his future.
Per the new information from Sky, Bayern’s front office is open to going in for Raphinha if they can’t convince Coman to sign a contract extension, but even at that point, a transfer would still be a “long way” off. Much like Niklas Sule, Coman’s contract is under the proverbial microscope at Bayern, but for Coman’s case, there are important details that are likely being considered. He, along with his representatives, had made it pretty clear in the buildup to the last summer transfer window that he would be shopping around for a potential transfer to the Premier League in England. So much to the point that he temporarily hired Pini Zahavi to try to broker a move to a Premier League club, but he was fired after failing to do so before the transfer window closed.
On one hand, Coman has had a solid campaign under Julian Nagelsmann thus far, having scored five goals and provided two assists from a total of seventeen appearances across all competitions. Alongside Leroy Sane, Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musial, and Thomas Muller, Coman has put together a significant patch of form for most of the second half of the Hinrunde after recovering from a heart issue back in September. With how well he’s performed, there’s certainly signals for Bayern to do everything in their power to keep hold of him, but his previous track record can’t guarantee the front office that he wont try to look elsewhere again this summer. In that respect, closely monitoring Raphinha’s situation at Leeds is certainly something worth doing at this stage.
For Leeds so far this season, Raphinha has been a bright spot in what’s otherwise been a disappointing campaign for Marcelo Bielsa’s side. They currently sit in 16th placed in the table after a run of terrible injury and coronavirus luck. Their problems were typified by their recent, 4-1 loss to Arsenal at Elland Road when they had to start 15-year-old Archie Gray on the bench out of necessity due to so many players having been out injured or ill. Raphinha has found the back of the net eight times and has provided one assist from seventeen appearances this season, all of which coming in the Premier League. He’s had to carry a lot of the attacking weight for Leeds with the long-term absence of striker Patrick Bamford and Leeds will also be without captain Liam Cooper and midfield stalwart Kalvin Phillips for a while.