It could influence many transfer deals this summer. The World Cup in Russia takes place at the end of next season and many squad players will be looking for more time on the pitch in order to fuel their chances of getting in their national team squads.
One such player, it seems, is FC Barcelona midfielder, Rafinha Alcantara.
The 24-year-old is said to be frustrated at his lack of opportunities at Camp Nou and is eyeing a move to the Premier League. According to Marca, the club most attracting the Brazilian’s attention is Arsenal.
The report claims that Rafinha thinks he would fit in well at Arsenal thanks in part to the Gunners’ style of play.
Rafinha, the younger brother of Bayern Munich’s Thiago Alcantara, has been at Barcelona since the age of 13 and broke into the first team in 2011.
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The 24-year-old spent a season on loan at Celta Vigo in 2013 and became a bigger part of the Barcelona squad after that. Rafinha made 28 appearances for his side last season.
However, that nearly isn’t enough to impress his national team. Rafinha has made just two appearances for Brazil and Marca reports that the midfielder will have to move to get more playing time.
As expected, this story comes back to Hector Bellerin with the report claiming that Rafinha could be used as part of any transfer deal for the Arsenal right-back.
It’s unlikely that any such deal would happen. It’s rare to see a player swap transfer deal actually come to fruition and, as Arsenal have claimed repeatedly, they are not willing to sell Hector Bellerin. The Gunners’ right-back has six years left on his contract and while Arsene Wenger may be a fan of Rafinha, it’s doubtful that he would be willing to lose Bellerin to sign the midfielder.