‘I would argue’ – James questions Liverpool’s pursuit of Leeds star

Jason Soutar
David James during BT Sport coverage

David James has questioned Liverpool’s reported pursuit of Leeds winger Raphinha, insisting that he is not as good as January signing Luis Diaz.

The Brazilian was in incredible form last campaign for the Yorkshire club, bagging six goals and creating nine assists for his team-mates in his debut Premier League season.

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And Raphinha has been just as good this term, contributing nine goals and three assists with Leeds now seven points above the relegation zone after back-to-back wins.

A report on Monday revealed that the 25-year-old had rejected a renewal offer from Leeds which would have nearly doubled his wages at Elland Road.

With a summer transfer a possibility, Liverpool, Barcelona, Chelsea, amongst others, are all reportedly interested in signing Raphinha.

On Tuesday it was reported that Barcelona had reached a ‘salary agreement’ on a five-year deal to sign the former Rennes attacker.

That’s according to Sport, who claim the Catalans have turned their attention to the Brazil international having given up hope of landing Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund.

Despite numerous reports putting Liverpool in the mix, the Merseyside club’s former goalkeeper James is not convinced.

The ex-England international insists that Raphinha is not at the same level as Diaz, who joined Liverpool from FC Porto in the winter transfer window.

“I like Raphinha… The one thing that sort of concerns me about him already being linked to Liverpool is that usually you don’t know who Liverpool are going to sign until they sign,” James told GGRecon (via Leeds Live).

“I like him but again, when you look at Luis Diaz, who is a sensational signing, is Raphinha as good as him? I don’t think so at the moment.

“It’s whether he can be better than that. I think with Diaz you already had a superstar who came in and continued to be a superstar. Raphinha is a slightly different model I would argue.”