By Alex McLeish

13th Oct, 2021 | 6:00pm

Ex-manager makes 'big' Raphinha transfer claim after major Leeds development

Alex McLeish has insisted “big clubs” will be circling for Leeds United star Raphinha after his debut for Brazil.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Scotland manager suggested the 24-year-old would want to play at an “extremely high level” following his international bow.

Raphinha came off the bench to feature against Venezuela last week, while he also played in the draw with Colombia.

As revealed by Football Insider (13th October), the winger is among three Leeds players Premier League rivals Liverpool are keeping tabs on.

The Reds’ interest in Raphinha stems back to February, with their scouts “blown away” by his development.

McLeish suggested the Leeds star would be well aware of interest from elsewhere after making his international debut.

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He admitted that while Leeds are ambitious, the lure of a “big club” could be too much for the winger to turn down.

Asked if he thought Raphinha would be in high demand after his Brazil debut, McLeish told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Yeah. He’ll be aware of that.

“The motivation is there for him to keep playing at an extremely high level.

“Leeds, with their ambitious manager, are trying to get in amongst the elite.

“We know the big clubs, the success and the wealth of the big clubs speaks volumes.”

Raphinha joined Leeds from Rennes back in 2020 for a reported £17million.

He has scored nine goals and contributed nine assists in 38 appearances to date.

Coming off the bench against Venezuela for his Brazil debut, he set up two goals in a 3-1 win.

In other news, Leeds United tipped to insert “£60million release clause” into contract of star man after latest talks.