Mauricio Pochettino is looking at the possibility of raiding Barcelona in the January transfer market by making a move for their 24-year-old midfielder Rafinha Alcantara.
Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo claims that the midfielder is keen on moving away from Barcelona in search of regular first team football. The likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham have been credited with an interest as well. His desire of moving on, just like his brother Thiago Alcantara, has not just attracted suitors from England, as both the Milan clubs are interested as well.
The 24-year-old, who is rated at £13.5 million, was expected to leave the Camp Nou outfit this summer window, but an unfortunate knee injury halted his desire and he eventually stayed put. Calciomercato claims that Barcelona’s new boss Ernesto Valverde cannot guarantee him a regular first team spot, hence a January move could well be on the cards.
Furthermore, with Barcelona acquiring Paulinho and Ousmane Dembele, Rafinha is quite rightly expected to spend much of his time on the bench this season. With the FIFA World Cup coming up next year, sitting on the bench would be the last thing that he would want. Barcelona might well look to cash in on him, but are expected to insert a buy-back clause while sanctioning his sale.
They did the same while allowing Gerard Deulofeu to move to Everton in 2015 and eventually signed him back this summer.
Given Tottenham’s strict transfer and wage policies, it is fair to say that they will need to get out of the zone if they really tend to bring the Brazilian to the club. Besides Arsenal and Liverpool, AC Milan and Inter Milan are interested in him as well and given the fact that the Italians are backed by the far east investors, Tottenham will need a stronger case to acquire his signature.
Born in Brazil, Rafinha, along with his brother Thiago, joined Barcelona’s youth system at the tender age of 13 and went on to progress through their ranks. He was finally handed his senior team debut in 2011 and till date, he has 81 appearances and 11 goals to his name. Be it Arsenal or be it Tottenham, Rafinha will be a quality addition for any side, given his experience playing for a top team at domestic and European levels.