Leeds United recruitment chief Victor Orta makes 'big six' transfer claim amid Raphinha interest

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta believes England's biggest clubs are intent on signing domestic targets this summer, as a trio eye Whites winger Raphinha.

By Graham Smyth
Sunday, 26th June 2022, 3:09 pm
Updated Sunday, 26th June 2022, 3:11 pm

The Brazilian international was the subject of a bid from Arsenal last week, although it was not deemed worthy of consideration by Leeds, and the Gunners are expected to have a second go in the coming days.

Chelsea are also among Raphinha's admirers, along with Spurs, although there is a strong sense that Barcelona remain the player's destination of choice despite their financial issues. The Catalan club are yet to make an official bid for Raphinha despite revealing their hand earlier than anyone else currently thought to be in the running. Club president Joan Laporta revealed in a March interview with RAC1 that they were keen on Leeds' star attacker.

"We have two signings lined up, maybe a centre-back and a midfielder, yes," he said.

"It could be a central defender and a midfielder, yes. Raphinha, on the other hand, is a great player. We have good reports on him. Deco [Raphinha's agent] has his job and informs us of details so we don't make mistakes. And in some cases he has helped us a lot. I want to clarify that Deco's not paid by the club. He will just help us because he dominates the Brazilian market".

Despite Deco's proximity to Barcelona and their clear interest in Raphinha, the only bid to land on the desk at Elland Road has come from an English club.

Orta, who says Chelsea's regime change will have delayed their activity in the transfer window, believes that the Premier League's big guns, burned by negative experiences of the foreign market, will turn their attention increasingly to players plying their trade on these shores.

"Chelsea is still undergoing internal reconstruction after the change of ownership and that may slow everything down ," he told MARCA. "Right now I feel like the greats in England are more focused on home market players. I have a feeling some expensive failed signings from outside England have spawned a little trauma and all the big guys are reviewing their processes."

NEW ERA - Victor Orta is recruiting players for head coach Jesse Marsch's first summer in charge at Leeds United after the club celebrated retaining Premier League status. Pic: Getty

The Spaniard added that players proven in the Premier League are the signings of choice for big clubs.

Orta himself is tracking several players as Leeds seek not only to fill a striker vacancy at Elland Road but to react to the certain departure of Kalvin Phillips and the expected loss of Raphinha.

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