Leeds United winger Raphinha has opened up about his friendship with Liverpool star Roberto Firmino.
The Brazilian has enjoyed a superb debut season in the Premier League since joining Leeds last summer, and it’s led to transfer rumours linking him with a big move away from the club.
Liverpool are one of the teams thought to be keeping an eye on him, as per a report from Football Insider earlier this season, and he certainly seems like he could be an upgrade on the struggling Sadio Mane after his dip in form this term.
Liverpool fans may be interested to hear that Raphinha is close friends with Reds ace Firmino, telling UOL Esporte that his fellow countryman was the first player to message him after he made the move to Elland Road.
Raphinha also mentioned LFC goalkeeper Alisson as someone he knows, though it’s also worth noting that he talked up his friendship with Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes, saying they talk regularly.
“It is difficult to define how I feel when I hear speculation about giant teams like Liverpool and Manchester United interested in signing me,” he said, in quotes translated into English by the Liverpool Echo.
He added: “Funny that I have friends in both clubs. Bruno Fernandes played with me for a year that seemed like many more at Sporting (Lisbon). He became almost an older brother,” Raphinha added.
“We talk every day, but no football, just our antics. Even from a distance, it helps me a lot.
“At United there’s Alex Telles. I did not even know how many times against him, a hard scorer, but always with respect. There’s Fred, who’s from the South too.
“But in Liverpool there is Alisson who is from the South too, so everything stays the same. There is still Fabinho, who is from the same place as Firmino and I.
“In fact, did you know that Firmino was the first guy who texted me when I came here? He’s a great friend.”