Report: Tottenham in race for technically gifted La Liga midfielder, January exit may be sanctioned
By Derek Smithson
Tottenham are one of five times in the race to sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha, according to a report.
Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo claim that the 24-year-old could leave Camp Nou in January to help him try gain first-team football.
It is understood that the La Liga giants will not let the Brazilian leave on the cheap and that Spurs, Liverpool, Arsenal, AC Milan and Inter Milan are keen on him.
The report details that Rafinha may be allowed to leave Barcelona in a similar way that Gerard Deulofeu was last season, meaning a buy-back deal could be a viable option.
Rafinha is recognised as a technically gifted player that has a brilliant work-rate and could be very effective in the middle of the park.
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The versatile midfielder is a product of the Barcelona academy and has made 78 senior appearances for the Spanish heavyweights, while also enjoying a spell out on loan at Celta Vigo.
He has missed the start of the new season through injury, but is keen to playing regular football when he returns and earn a spot in the Brazil squad for the 2018 World Cup.
Rafinha made just 28 appearances across all competitions last season for Barcelona, scoring seven goals and supplying five assists in return.
Football Insider verdict:
One area that Spurs should have strengthened further in the summer was the centre of the park and a swoop for Rafinha in January could be a brilliant move for them. They currently have Mousa Dembele, Victor Wanyama, Eric Dier and Harry Winks as senior options, but that is unlikely to be enough over the course of a long season. Rafinha is someone who needs a fresh move to reignite his career and there is no doubt that the ability is there. Most midfielders would find it difficult trying to force his way into the Barcelona starting line-up on a regular basis and injuries have not helped his progress. He will be desperate to make a good impression to force his way into Brazil’s World Cup squad and it would benefit both parties if he moved to Spurs.
In other Tottenham transfer news, Manchester United have lined up a part-exchange offer to land a Spurs first teamer.