Liverpool are leading the race to sign Leeds United star Raphinha this summer, but Manchester City and Manchester United are ‘following’ him as well.

That’s according to Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari, who says a deal will ‘not be a simple deal’ for any of the three clubs.

That’s because ‘Leeds want to keep him’ after his impressive performances this season following his arrival at Elland Road last summer.

The Brazilian signed in a £16.72m deal from Stade Rennais and has been one of the stars of the show since, with six goals and nine assists in 30 Premier League appearances in his first year.

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That impressive tally has the vultures circling, and he’s already been linked with several of the ‘Big Six’.

Manchester United are the ones to have been namechecked most often, with Raphinha’s relationship with Bruno Fernandes felt to be something they could take advantage of.

Liverpool are also keen as they plan something of an overhaul this summer, while Manchester City could also be keen if they decide to sell Riyad Mahrez, as reports in England have suggested.

But it is the Reds who are at the forefront at this moment in time, with Longari stating that they ‘lead the race’ for Raphinha’s signature.

Manchester United and Manchester City, meanwhile, are simply ‘following’ the winger, although there’s obviously every chance that could change quickly.

Leeds are going to put up a fight, either way, meaning this could quickly turn into something of a saga in the coming weeks.