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Inter and Celta Vigo want Barcelona midfielder Rafinha

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha

Bengaluru, January 10: Barcelona are open to selling their academy prodigy Rafinha with Inter Milan and Celta Vigo as potential suitors, according to reports in Italy and Spain.

The 24-year-old has attracted a lot of interest since the summer after it emerged that the midfielder could be open to a new challenge.

Liverpool and Arsenal were reportedly interested in the attacker earlier but allegedly the Brazilian opted for a move to the San Siro in the summer which later failed materialize.

However, a new report has surfaced now that states he is again open to a move away from the Catalan side in the Winter window and the strong possible suitors this time are Italian giants Inter Milan and La Liga side Celta Vigo.

The Brazilian midfielder missed most of the matches in 2017 due to injuries and underwent surgery for the second time earlier in October. He, however, was cleared to return to action last month.

But with Barcelona signing Coutinho and the availability of other attacking players like Dembele, Alcacer already ahead of him in the pecking order, the 24-year-old has now decided to move on and Barcelona have responded with his demand by transfer listing him.

Inter have requested a loan deal for the player, however, Barcelona's fellow La Liga rival Celta are believed to be ahead in the race as they are open to a permanent transfer.

Celta's sporting director Felipe Minambres has already confirmed the news that talks are in progress and he is also very keen to sign Rafinha who once played for the club as a loanee in the 2013-14 season.

"We are in contact with Rafinha," Minambres said.

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

Rafinha has been at Barcelona since he was 13, but has seen first-team opportunities hardly come by. The midfielder has battled injuries since his ACL sprain against Roma in 2015 and since then has scored seven times and only made 24 appearances in two years.

Apart from Rafinha, Celta are believed to be eager to sign another player from the Catalan side, which is Denis Suarez however, the Celta official dismissed the suggestion and said he is not their priority at the moment.

"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."

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    Story first published: Wednesday, January 10, 2018, 14:04 [IST]
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