Barcelona forward Rafinha is reportedly pushing for a shock switch to bitter rivals Real Madrid in the summer.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Rafinha is eyeing a controversial move to switch allegiances from Barcelona to Real Madrid. The Brazilian playmaker has had his representatives contact Real Madrid president Florentino Perez over a possible move in the summer transfer window.
Rafinha progressed through the ranks at Barcelona’s fabled La Masia academy after joining the youth setup as a 13-year-old. The player finally made the grade in the senior squad in 2014, since when he has established himself as a key player in first-team picture.
But while he has been influential with his performances for the Blaugrana, Rafinhas has struggled to be one of the first names of the team sheet, having had to compete with the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez for one spot in the starting eleven.
While the 24-year-old did outdo the aforementioned players in gaining minutes in the first team, he only managed to rack up 28 performances across all competitions for the side. Rafinha still notched up a respectable return of seven goals and five assists in those matches to make a case for more regular game time.
Now though, with the World Cup less than 12 months away, Rafinha knows that he must play regular first team football in order to not only make Brazil’s squad for the tournament but also stake his claim to be a starter for the Selecao.
With Barcelona keen on landing another midfielder in the summer, he believes that his efforts would be best served at a club where he can manage to gain more first-team minutes than he did at Camp Nou in the recently concluded season. And the player, as per the report, senses a shock move to Real Madrid would best help him achieve that.
Rafinha’s representatives have already been in touch with Florentino Perez to offer his services to Real Madrid. However, Los Blancos are not eager to sign the Brazil international, with Zinedine Zidane setting his sights elsewhere for summer reinforcements.
Barcelona, too, would be unwilling to let go of the player – even if he plays a bit part role – to their bitter rivals. Thus, a move to Real Madrid looks like a highly unlikely prospect, and having been linked to the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, a move to Premier League could instead be in the offing for Rafinha.