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Five players who could replace Raphinha at Leeds United

Sports Mole takes a look at five players that Leeds United could target to replace star winger Raphinha in this summer's transfer window.

Leeds United star Raphinha is seemingly edging closer to an exit from Elland Road this summer amid interest from a host of top European clubs.

The 25-year-old could stay in the Premier League with London rivals Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur all battling for the Brazilian's signature.

The Gunners are believed to be leading the race at present, and Mikel Arteta's side are set to make an improved bid for the winger after their opening offer fell well short of Leeds' £65m valuation.

All three Premier League clubs, however, could face competition from Catalan giants Barcelona, who remain in the race despite their financial predicament.

Raphinha has excelled for Leeds since joining the club in 2020, recording 17 goals and 11 assists in 66 appearances, but the Whites may now need to delve into the market for a replacement.

Here, Sports Mole takes a look at five players Leeds could target to replace Raphinha in this summer's transfer window.

Cody Gakpo (PSV Eindhoven)

Cody Gakpo celebrating a goal for PSV Eindhoven in October 2021.© Reuters

After a stellar 2021-22 campaign in front of goal for PSV Eindhoven, netting 21 times and registering 15 assists in 46 appearances, Cody Gakpo has unsurprisingly attracted interest from a number of clubs across Europe.

The 23-year-old, who can operate on both wings and as a central striker, has spent his entire career with the Eredivisie outfit, and although he still has four years remaining on his contract, a potential switch to the Premier League could be too good to turn down.

Jesse Marsch is understood to have added Gakpo to his summer shortlist, and an offer worth up to £30m could be enough to prise the Netherlands international away from his homeland.

Both Arsenal and Tottenham have also been credited with an interest, but if one of these clubs were to recruit Raphinha then they would likely pull out of the race for Gakpo.

Charles De Ketelaere (Club Brugge)

Belgium's Charles De Ketelaere pictured before kickoff on March 26, 2022© Reuters

While Charles De Ketelaere may not be viewed as a like-for-like replacement for Raphinha, the 6ft 3in versatile forward is believed to be on Leeds' radar this summer.

The 21-year-old elevated his game to new heights in the 2021-22 season, as he recorded 18 goals and 10 assists in 49 appearances across all competitions and helped the Belgium giants win the top-flight title for the third successive season.

De Ketelaere already has plenty of experience in senior football, representing Brugge 120 times, including 16 Champions League appearances, while he has also been capped eight times by the Belgium national team.

Manchester City, Spurs and Leicester City have all previously been linked with De Ketelaere, but Leeds and Serie A champions AC Milan are the latest clubs who have been credited with an interest, the latter of whom can offer Champions League football.

Noa Lang (Club Brugge)

Club Brugge's Noa Lang pictured in September 2021© Reuters

Both Leeds and AC Milan could also battle for the signature of De Ketelaere's Brugge teammate Noa Lang this summer.

The 23-year-old has been a standout performer for Brugge since joining the club from Ajax in 2020, notching up 26 goals and 26 assists in 85 appearances across all tournaments, including 24 goal contributions last season.

Primarily a winger who can also play as a central striker, Lang is believed to be considering his options even though he still has three years remaining on his contract with the Belgian side.

Arsenal have previously been linked with a £25m move for the Netherlands international, while West Ham United are also believed to be in the race for his signature.

Adama Traore (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Adama Traore in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers in December 2021© Reuters

The future of powerful winger Adama Traore is believed to be uncertain as he will soon be entering the final 12 months of his contract at Wolverhampton Wanderers.

The 26-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Barcelona, but the Catalan giants have opted against signing the Spaniard on a permanent deal worth £29m.

Leeds are now understood to have registered their interest in Traore and one report claims that the Whites are at the front of the queue to sign the winger, who has now seen his valuation drop to around £18m.

Since joining Wolves from Middlesbrough in 2018, Traore has scored 11 goals and provided 18 assists in 154 appearances across all competitions, while at Barcelona he only registered four assists in 18 games last season.

Ismaila Sarr (Watford)

Watford's Ismaila Sarr celebrates scoring their second goal against Aston Villa on August 14, 2014© Reuters

Following Watford's relegation to the Championship, winger Ismaila Sarr is not expected to be short of suitors in this summer's transfer window.

The 24-year-old has previously been linked with the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Newcastle United, while one report claims that West Ham are now the frontrunners to sign the £25m-rated winger.

However, Leeds may decide to pursue a deal for the former Rennes star, who primarily operates on the right flank which will be vacated at Elland Road if Raphinha leaves.

Sarr, a 47-cap Senegal international, scored only five times in 22 games during an injury-hit 2021-22 campaign, but he enjoyed a more prolific spell in front of goal in the previous season, recording 13 goals and 10 assists in 39 matches to help Watford secure promotion to the top flight.

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