Arsenal have an interest in signing Rafinha from Barcelona according to news outlet football.london, but face stiff and surprising competition from Real Madrid in the pursuit of the player.
The Brazilian made his debut for the Catalan giants in 2011 after successfully rising through their legendary La Masia youth academy. He has since struggled for game-time at the Nou Camp, despite being rated as a top global prospect during the years surrounding his emergence.
Rafinha, whilst scoring six goals in 16 total appearances this term, has struggled to break the MSN lineup and rarely starts in his more favourable central attacking midfield position. Now 24, the young Brazilian could be subject to bids from Clasico rivals Madrid or be drafted to Arsenal in hope of easing their turbulent progression.
Contracted until 2020 with Barcelona, a deal in the region of £20m is said to be a figure needed to get conversations started on transfer negotiations.
Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are also said to be registering interest as ongoing Champions League campaigns call for the strength-in-depth year on year.
What a night!! This is football. ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/OHLgf31xYB— Rafinha Alcantara (@Rafinha) March 9, 2017
The South American was gifted a game-start by Luis Enrique during their breathtaking 6-5 aggregate win over Paris Saint-Germain earlier this month. A game that is likely to go down in history as an all-time-great, Rafinha played an impressive opening 75 minutes before stepping aside for match-winner Sergi Roberto.
Barcelona progressed on the night and have drew Juventus in the quarter-finals, beginning with a home-leg tie on April 11th.
With 11 La Liga games left to play, they chase Real Madrid by two points in what will be a nail-biting finale of the Spanish footballing season.