Barcelona’s interest in Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho has been well documented. Even though the Reds have categorically denied that the Brazilian is available for sale, Barcelona have been pursuing their interest in the player in order to pair him up alongside Neymar.
However, Liverpool seem to have decided to offer Barcelona a taste of their own medicine after making a move for Rafinha Alcantara. The source of this speculation is a tweet from Gerard Romero of Catalan Radio.
The tweet, written in Spanish, roughly translates to:
“Rafinha has 2 interesting proposals to go out this summer. Roma and Liverpool are the best clubs today #mercato #GRnews”
The midfielder did not feature for the second part of the 2016-17 season due to a major injury problem. He has a contract with the club until the summer of 2020. However, Liverpool are keen on signing him in the summer despite his injury situation and will need to offer a fee close to €25million (Marca).
After coming through the ranks at Barcelona, Rafinha moved to Celta de Vigo on loan in order to gain experience. Since 2014, he has been playing with the Barcelona first-team. In the 2016-17 campaign, the midfielder only featured in 18 league appearances due to a string of injury problems.
Even though the midfielder has been unable to make regular first-team appearances, it is clear that Barcelona rate him very highly. However, the Catalan club will not only have to contend with the transfer interest from Liverpool, as Roma are also in the mix. After managing a 2nd place finish in the Italian league, Roma will also offer Champions League football next season, just like Liverpool. Hence, it will be a tight battle between both teams for a player, who is expected to cost around €25million.
The Kop Times Verdict
At 24 years of age, he will prove to be a valuable addition to the Liverpool squad and he will also fit into the profile of the players Jurgen Klopp always tries to sign. The midfielder will be aware that his role in the Barcelona squad next season will be fairly limited, and he may have to move away from the Camp Nou in order to secure regular first-team football.
Liverpool fans will only hope that Rafinha does not turn out into another Alberto Aquilani. The Roma midfielder was highly talented but his injury record worked against him. His £20million transfer from Roma several years ago ended up as one of the biggest mistakes by the club.