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Manchester United report: Red Devils join race for Raphinha – but there’s a major problem

Raphinha
(Image credit: PA)

Manchester United are hoping to sign Raphinha this summer, according to reports, but their rivalry with Leeds could scupper a deal.

Erik ten Hag has already begun to run the rule over the squad he will inherit when he officially takes charge at Old Trafford on July 1.

The Dutchman is expected to seek reinforcements in several areas of the squad, with United (opens in new tab) having been linked with defenders, midfielders and attackers in recent week.

The Daily Telegraph (opens in new tab) writes that Ten Hag is keen to bring in a central striker to provide competition for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Edinson Cavani is set to depart when his contract expires this summer, while Anthony Martial is unlikely to be part of United's first team next term.

Raphinha

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The report states that Ten Hag would also consider a left-footed, right-sided attack if he is not able to purchase a centre-forward.

Raphinha fits that description and is likely to seek a move away from Elland Road this summer, even if Leeds (opens in new tab) stay up.

Jesse Marsch's side, who travel to Brentford (opens in new tab) on Sunday, must better Burnley (opens in new tab)'s result against Newcastle (opens in new tab) to avoid relegation to the Championship.

Raphinha has been one of Leeds' standout performers this season and he will no doubt want to test himself at a higher level sooner rather than later.

But the rivalry between the two clubs would make it difficult for United to get a deal done.

Erik ten Hag

(Image credit: Getty)

Only six players have moved directly from Elland Road to Old Trafford: Joe Jordan, Gordon McQueen, Arthur Graham, Eric Cantona, Rio Ferdinand and Alan Smith.

Even if Leeds are willing to cash in on the Brazilian for the right price, they would probably prefer to sell him to any club other than United.

Ten Hag will be in attendance at Selhurst Park when the Red Devils conclude their campaign against Crystal Palace (opens in new tab) on Sunday.

United must win to guarantee a place in the Europa League next season.

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Greg Lea is a freelance football journalist who's filled in wherever FourFourTwo needs him since 2014. He became a Crystal Palace fan after watching a 1-0 loss to Port Vale in 1998, and once got on the scoresheet in a primary school game against Wilfried Zaha's Whitehorse Manor (an own goal in an 8-0 defeat).