Chelsea and Arsenal target’s father responds to recent transfer speculation

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Could he be heading to England?

Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly interested in Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara, but it looks like they won’t be signing him any time soon.

While talkSPORT claim both the Blues and the Gunners had been keeping an eye on the 24-year-old ahead of January, his father Mazinho has now emphatically ruled out a departure for his son.

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Rafinha hasn’t always been a regular at the Nou Camp, but has also had his injury troubles during his time with the club that have hampered his progress.

The Brazil international is currently out with a knee problem, but his father, former World Cup winner Mazinho, is optimistic about his future with Barca despite speculation involving Chelsea and Arsenal.

‘The important thing is that he’s feeling better,’ Mazinho told Radio Marca.

‘Our concern is that he recovers, that he can return to a football pitch. We haven’t talked to anyone because with an injured player, it’s difficult to negotiate anything with other clubs.

‘Besides, we have no interest (in leaving) either. We have a contract with Barca.

‘Rafinha’s fine, he’s recovering, carrying out his work, and he’ll be back soon. I’ve had a perfect relationship with Barca since 2005 and I have no complaints.’

This could be a blow for Chelsea and Arsenal, who could arguably do with more options in the middle of the park this season.

Antonio Conte’s side have struggled with injuries, forcing them to play David Luiz in midfield against Roma last night, while Arsenal’s current options in that area haven’t been on top form.

Granit Xhaka joined last summer but has been slow to settle, and had one of his worst moments in an Arsenal shirt at the weekend as he was seen picking his nose as Watford scored their winner in stoppage time.

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