Leeds United head coach Jesse Marsch is keen to continue developing the "fantastic" Raphinha while he is still with the club as reports circulate of a move to Barcelona.

The Brazil winger was linked with a big-money move to West Ham in January but has remained at Elland Road, with Leeds battling to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

Raphinha, who left Rennes for Leeds in October 2020, has caught the eye of some of Europe's elite clubs, with Barca seemingly favourites to secure his signature.

Barca president Joan Laporta has confirmed an interest in the 25-year-old, having received positive reports from Raphinha's agent and ex-Blaugrana midfielder Deco.

While Marsch acknowledged his star player is in demand, the American expressed his desire to make the most of having Raphinha for as long as he stays at Leeds.

"He is a massive talent and my challenge, despite all of the talk outside, is to have a relationship where we can focus on his development in helping the team while he is here," he told reporters on Thursday.

"I haven't had a word with him about Deco or Barcelona. It [Barca’s interest] should be out there because he is fantastic.

"I just want him to become the player I know he can be. Everyone here wants to enjoy the football he can play and of course we want him to stay as long as possible. He's a fantastic player and very good person."

Raphinha has been Leeds' standout performer in the Premier League, laying on 56 chances this season along with his nine goals and three assists – all team-leading figures.

In the English top flight only James Ward-Prowse (57), Bruno Fernandes (76) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (77) have created more opportunities than Raphinha, who Marsch says he has not discussed his future with past the end of the season.

Marsch will be hoping Raphinha, who missed the win over Wolves due to COVID-19, can boost Leeds' survival hopes when his side host Southampton on Saturday.