Buoyed by the performance of his summer recruits Dominic Solanke and Mohamed Salah, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is looking to add more spark to his midfield. He is trying to lure 24-year-old Brazilian midfielder Rafinha from Barcelona to bolster his ranks, as per Spanish outlet Mundo Deportivo.
Interestingly, all the talk about Barcelona and Liverpool in the recent weeks has been about playmaker Philippe Coutinho. The Catalan club were stung by Neymar’s links with Paris Saint-Germain. They are trying their best to keep Neymar but signing Coutinho is their contingency plan.
Completely apart from these developments is Liverpool’s pursuit of Rafinha. It is ironical that the three players on this revolving carousel are all Brazilian team-mates.
The midfielder, who is the brother of Spanish playmaker Thiago Alcantara, who plies his trade with Bayern Munich, is the son of Mazinho, who was a legend in native Brazil. He was a regular fixture of the Catalan side last year before injury brought his season to a premature end.
He is contracted to Camp Nou until 2020 but is eager for first team action. Even before Neymar became a subject of PSG’s attention, Liverpool were tracking Rafinha and wanted to bring him to Anfield. Initial reports suggested that the Spanish giants could use him as a makeweight in any deal for Coutinho although sources at the Merseyside indicate that it is a non-starter.
Will Rafinha Move To Anfield This Summer?
It is an interesting story developing between this trio of Brazilians between these sides. One way or the other, the future of all three is interlinked and I get an inkling that things shape from this week. Barring last season when he started as a first-team regular, Rafinha has never been able to command a place. He has indicated many times that his future at Barca remains uncertain and getting regular action is his priority.
His release clause is around £67million while Liverpool are ready to offer between £27m – £36m. That could be another factor in the discussions (Mundo Deportivo).
Moreover, can Liverpool promise him first-team action? Rafinha will not straight away slot into the first team which could dampen the negotiations. Also, Barcelona could link any Liverpool interest in Rafinha to Coutinho, which would be irksome for us.
Is it possible for Liverpool to bid for Rafinha keeping Coutinho out of the loop? I doubt it, especially if Neymar moves closer to PSG.