On-loan Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara has today revealed that he has no intention of returning to the club, come the end of his temporary spell with Italian giants Inter Milan.
Rafinha, brother of Bayern Munich midfielder Thiago, came up through the youth ranks at Barca, but struggled to cement a regular starting spot for himself after breaking into the club’s first-team in 2011.
The twice-capped Brazilian international was heavily linked with a Camp Nou exit last summer, following the arrival of yet another midfielder, Paulinho, in Catalunya, with Arsenal and Liverpool having been persistently touted as potential destinations.
As well as playing in midfield, Rafinha filled in at both full-back and as an attacker during his 7 years in the Blaugrana’s first-team
The South American only returned from a lengthy injury layoff late last year, with the impressive campaign thus far enjoyed by Barcelona, coupled with the arrival of Coutinho at the club, meaning the former Celta Vigo loanee was always highly unlikely to receive regular playing time before the end of the season at the Camp Nou.
Arsenal had been heavily linked with renewing their efforts to bring Rafinha to the Emirates following the opening of the winter transfer window last month, but, as confirmed by both Inter Milan and Barca on the 22nd of January, the Brazilian instead opted to make the move to the San Siro on loan for the remainder of the season:
Rafinha has yet to establish himself as a regular in Inter’s midfield to this point, managing just 4 Serie A substitute appearances as he continues to work towards regaining full fitness.
However, the Nerazzurri are nevertheless expected to activate their 35 million Euro option to make Rafinha’s transfer permanent in the summer, an outcome which the versatile Selecao man has insisted that is very much in favour of.
Speaking in an interview with La Gazzetta Dello Sport this morning, Rafinha revealed:
‘Of course, that’s what I want. I did not com here thinking that I will recover my form and go back to Barcelona. I want to stay here, then all else will depend on Inter.’