Pep Guardiola has set his sights on Barcelona midfielder Rafinha in a bid to strengthen his Manchester City squad.
Wilfried Bony, Eliaquim Mangala, Joe Hart and Samir Nasri all left the Etihad as Guardiola began his Manchester City revolution by looking to build a young squad with his philosophy. Now he is reportedly interested in bringing in the Brazilian Rafinha, from his former club Barcelona.
According to Fichajes.net, the 23-year-old is a transfer objective for the Manchester City gaffer as he looks to strengthen his midfield. Guardiola has worked with Rafinha’s brother Thiago Alcantara at Bayern Munich. Rafinha, like his older brother, had risen through the youth ranks at La Masia and were both handed their debuts by Pep Guardiola during his time at Barcelona. The 45-year-old gaffer will know of Rafinha’s abilities well and the Brazilian international can fit seamlessly into the philosophy that Guardiola wants to implement at Manchester City.
Rafinha made 36 appearances in the 2014-15 campaign for Barcelona in all competitions and looked like he was set for a starring role the following season. But in September 2015, he suffered an ACL injury during a Champions League tie against Roma and would miss most of the season, making a total of only 11 appearances.
He has since returned to the Barcelona squad after making a full recovery and even scored in their last match against Leganes.
He has a contract with the Catalan giants till June 2020 and has reportedly maintained that it is his wish to stay at the Nou Camp. But with Iniesta, Rakitic, Neymar, Messi and Turan all ahead of him in the pecking order, it is yet to be seen whether he would be content with spending a lot of time on the bench. The amount of game time he receives this season will play a huge role in determining whether he decides to stay put or leave when Guardiola comes calling.