Thursday, January 18, 2018

Celta Vigo in contact with Barcelona midfielder Rafinha

SoccerNews in La Liga 8 Jan 2018

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Barcelona midfielder Rafinha is a transfer target for Celta Vigo, according to the Galician club’s sporting director.

Rafinha is yet to feature in LaLiga this season after he twice underwent knee surgery during 2017, although last month he was cleared to return to action.

Rafinha’s father, Mazinho, previously indicated the 24-year-old was not interested in leaving Barca, but the club-record signing of Philippe Coutinho from Liverpool could push Rafinha down the Camp Nou pecking order.

Celta sporting director Felipe Minambres confirmed he is keen to take Rafinha – who played for the club on loan in the 2013-14 season – back to Balaidos.

“We are in contact with Rafinha,” Minambres said.

“There are options and we want to advance them in the coming days.”

Denis Suarez is another former Celta player who may be free to leave Barca following the arrival of Coutinho, with the Catalan giants reportedly ready to trim their squad and raise funds after paying a reported £142million fee for the Brazilian.

But Minambres thinks a Balaidos return for Suarez, who was on the club’s books as a youngster, could be an unrealistic prospect.

“I think it’s very complicated,” Celta’s sporting director added. “They are difficult situations.

“Independent of the Coutinho signing, Denis has a lot of quality and I’m sure he will keep getting minutes at Barcelona.”

Barca host Celta in the second leg of their last-16 Copa del Rey tie on Thursday, the teams having drawn 1-1 in last week’s opener.

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