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Rafinha set to stay on at Camp Nou

Bengaluru, August 14: Barcelona attacking midfielder Rafinha will be staying put at Camp Nou for the 2018-19 season, according to club international transfer director Ariedo Braida.

Rafinha, 25, has recovered from a series of serious injuries to work his way back into Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde's first-team plans. But the Brazilian could have been lining up for Inter switch this season had it not been for a problem with the club's Financial Fair Play balance.

The Milan giants were unable to make last season's loan deal permanent due to wage restrictions, although with a new FFP year beginning from July the Serie A giants had been reportedly linked with another bid for Rafinha.

Braida, however, insists there is little chance of that happening during the current window. "Rafinha will probably stay at Barcelona," Braida told Radio Sportiva.

"He's a lad with great football qualities, he can decide matches with a skilful touch on the ball, and he can do it here or elsewhere." After being restricted to just one Barcelona appearance in the 2017-18 season due to physical problems prior to his Inter loan, Rafinha also received the backing of the director as he looks to compete with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Ivan Rakitic for a first-team berth.

"Last year he was coming off a serious knee injury and he did really well at Inter, he's a very interesting player who is happy at Barcelona," Braida added. Rafinha has played 79 games to date in Blaugrana colours, scoring 11 goals.

He is a versatile player who can play as number ten, number eight, number six or even as a winger. He was also used as a wingback by former Barcelona manager Luis Enrique and he thrived as well. Him staying at Camp Nou will surely make Barcelona even stronger with more options in the middle of the park.

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Story first published: Tuesday, August 14, 2018, 12:17 [IST]
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