Rafinha Alcantara is reportedly close to securing a departure from Barcelona, with Valencia set to seal a deal to bring the Brazilian in on a permanent transfer.
Spanish publication Sport claim that Valencia and Barcelona are working on a deal over the transfer of Rafinha Alcantara. The Brazilian has reportedly been deemed surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp and is close to sealing a permanent move to fellow La Liga side Valencia.
The report says that the two clubs are not too far apart in their valuation of Rafinha, who also wants to complete the move to Valencia. Sport added that Rafinha has, in fact, agreed personal terms with the club, with the deal set to completed now that Barcelona have returned from the United States.
Barcelona’s original demands were around €15 million, but the defending La Liga champions seem to have lowered their asking price to €10 million upfront plus add-ons and bonuses, which gives Valencia hope they will be able to seal the transfer. Valencia though, are hoping they can agree on a lower upfront fee.
Rafinha Alcantara, along with his brother Thiago Alcantara, were two of the brightest gems of their generation at La Masia. There were high hopes from the two. While Thiago has made quite a career for himself since moving to Bayern Munich, Rafinha has struggled to carve a place for himself at Barcelona.
26 now, Rafinha has only managed 87 senior appearances for Barcelona, with a timid return of 12 goals and 8 assists. His loan moves to Celta Vigo and Inter Milan weren’t exactly successful either. The midfielder will need to get regular game time under his belt at this age, which is an unrealistic proposition right now at Barcelona, especially after the addition of Frenkie de Jong and Antoine Griezmann.
Valencia, on the other hand, were in turmoil with an internal protest underway against the owner of the club. It seems to have resolved now, with Marcelino remaining in charge, something the players wanted. Valencia play a 4-4-2 and Rafinha will be a good fit, with the ability to play all across the midfield four.
The 26-year-old though, is likely to be mainly used as cover or rotation in central midfield. Valencia currently have Dani Parejo, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Francis Coquelin and Alvaro Medran as the option for the two central midfield spots in the formation. Medran though, is unlikely to be involved much, which means Rafinha would be the fourth option, depending on how Marcelino wants his team to play.
The deal looks like the best thing for all parties involved. Barcelona move Rafinha and his wages off the book while Valencia get a player who has La Liga experience and will add some flair to their squad.