Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly set his sights on Rafinha, with a view to landing the Barcelona attacker at Tottenham in January.
According to a report by Daily Express, Rafinha could be set to depart from Camp Nou in the January transfer window. The Barcelona attacker is a target for Premier League heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur this winter, with Mauricio Pochettino eager to bolster his squad.
Rafinha was regarded as one of the brightest prospects of his generation at La Masia, back when he made his debut for the senior side in 2011, aged just 18. But, a combination of a fierce competition for places and injury troubles have meant that he has only managed to amass 86 further appearances since then.
The latest setback came last month, with an anterior cruciate ligament rupture sidelining the player for the rest of the season. But, despite his development being stunted by fitness issues, Rafinha continues to be rated quite highly, which reflects in the fact that Tottenham hold an interest in signing him.
Tottenham’s strongest eleven is inarguably up there with the best of sides in England, if not Europe. But, beyond his strongest lineup, Mauricio Pochettino does seem to fall short of options, in terms of quality. The Tottenham manager’s problems in midfield have worsened over the course of the season, with Harry Winks and Moussa Sissoko the only recognised names at his disposal at the present moment.
As a result, the need to bolster midfield has arisen for the North Londoners, with Rafinha being a viable long-term target. The Barcelona star’s versatility further makes him a potential asset for Tottenham, as he can play in a variety of positions, akin to how Sissoko does for Pochettino’s side.
However, the need to bolster his squad is more urgent for the Tottenham boss, rather than it being to boost his options for the long-term. With that in mind, a move for Rafinha in the January transfer window does not make much sense, especially seeing as Spurs could perhaps land the Brazilian for a much cheaper price next summer, when his contract with Barcelona will be in its final year.
The finances do play a key role for Tottenham, whose move into the new stadium means they will be operating on a limited budget for some time. Another obstacle in Spurs’ pursuit of Rafinha is persuading him to leave Barcelona, a prospect that could be a tall order judging by his recent comments.
As things stand, a January move for Rafinha seems to be far from practical. But, it remains to be seen if Tottenham can swoop the 25-year-old away from Barcelona next month, or if they wait till the summer to make a move for him.