Rival club chief leaves door open for Barcelona loanee to secure permanent move

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Celta Vigo president Carlos Mourino has insisted that he’ll be open to the idea of Barcelona loanee Rafinha joining the club on a permanent basis.

As noted by Sport, the 26-year-old secured a season-long loan deal with the La Liga outfit, but only after some clever business from Barcelona in signing him to a contract renewal.

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With his new deal running to 2021, that rules out the possibility of leaving on a free transfer at the end of the season following the conclusion of his loan spell, which in turn gives the Catalan giants time to either reintegrate him into the squad or look for a permanent departure next summer without the threat of losing him for nothing.

The more immediate focus for Rafinha will be on securing a more prominent role with Celta and playing regularly while helping the club achieve their objectives this season.

However, with a long-term picture in mind, it seems as though Mourino is open to the idea of signing him on a permanent basis next summer, provided that he proves his worth and emerges as a good fit for the Celta squad.

“It could always happen. As long as Rafinha and Celta wanted to, that possibility exists,” he is quoted as saying by Sport.

Time will tell if all the pieces fall into place for that to happen, but given Rafinha’s struggles over the years to secure a bigger role at Barcelona, it could be a solution that suits all parties.

Despite impressing in a loan stint at Inter, he returned to the same problems at the Nou Camp given the fierce competition for places. Albeit he did feature in the opening three La Liga games this season, that was largely down to the injury crisis that coach Ernesto Valverde has been facing with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele all ruled out.

When that trio is fit, it’s difficult to see Rafinha securing significant playing time and so if all goes well over the next few months, a permanent switch to Celta could be an appealing option and a genuine possibility based on the comments above.

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