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Victor Orta believes Leeds United have a ‘special case’ in Liverpool target Raphinha

Victor Orta has told One Football that Marcelo Bielsa has a ‘special’ player at Leeds United in Liverpool target Raphinha.

The Brazilian moved to Elland Road from Ligue 1 side Stade Rennais last October for £17million plus add-ons (BBC). And he immediately carved out a key role for himself, as the Whites secured a top-half finish in their first season back in the Premier League.

Raphinha started 26 of his 30 top-flight appearances under Bielsa and struck home six goals while offering nine assists. Only four men scored more for Leeds than the 24-year-old last term, but no United player penned more assists.

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Raphinha’s efforts have seen the Porto Alegre native earn admirers at two of the Premier League’s biggest clubs. He told UOL recently that it is hard to describe the feeling of being linked with Liverpool and Manchester United.

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But the winger has no interest in leaving Elland Road just yet with three years still on his contract. That would have come as good news for Orta, with Leeds’ Director of Football more than pleased with his performances.

“Raphinha is a special case,” Orta said. “He has been brilliant from the moment he touched this club. But it wasn’t easy because he arrived in the last few days of the transfer window, really nervous and honestly, he didn’t have a lot of time to decide.”

TBR’s view: Leeds have a bright star in Raphinha

Raphinha has been a revelation for Leeds since moving to Elland Road. He has offered fans an exciting player to watch and a problem for Premier League defences to try and stop.

The Brazilian is skilful and gets supporters up off their seats but is smart with the ball. He is diligent with how he attacks yet plays with a freedom United would struggle to replace. All in his first season in a new country, having taken to the division with such ease.

Leeds must now do all they can to retain the player Orta describes as a ‘special case’. Interest will come in a player as dynamic as Raphinha, although United are in a strong position to reject approaches. He likes it at Elland Road and is loved there and will be even better next term with a full pre-season of work under Bielsa.

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