With competition for places at Barcelona still as fierce as ever, sporting director Ariedo Braida has conceded that the club may allow Rafinha to leave.
The 25-year-old was sent out on loan in January, joining Serie A giants Inter for the second half of the campaign.
It proved to be a successful move for both parties, as while Rafinha played regularly, making 17 league appearances and scoring two goals along with providing three assists, the Nerazzurri secured qualification for the Champions League.
Admittedly, it wasn’t convincing as it came in dramatic fashion on the last day of the season with a win at rivals Lazio, but ultimately, the final standings are all that matter and Inter will be back at Europe’s top table next year.
Given both sides benefitted from the short-term deal, it would be no surprise if talk emerged of a permanent move, and now Braida has seemingly refused to rule out the potential of it happening.
“If he could stay at Inter? It’s possible, let’s see,” he’s quoted as telling Premium Sport, as per Calciomercato.
It’s added in the report that Rafinha wants to stay at Inter, and to reiterate the point above, having received regular playing time and a prominent role under Luciano Spalletti, it’s no surprise if he would want to remain at the San Siro.
In turn, time will tell if a deal is struck between the two clubs this summer, or perhaps Barcelona may have been impressed enough to consider taking him back to the Nou Camp ahead of next season. Ernesto Valverde isn’t short of midfield options though with the likes of Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Paulinho, so there may still be a struggle for Rafinha to establish himself in the line-up.