FCInterNews.it claims that Inter Milan has dropped out of the race for the permanent transfer of Barcelona midfielder, Rafinha. Tottenham Hotspur are thought to be heading that pursuit with West Ham United also keeping close tabs. It seems like the Hammers are on a similar investment plan in the Premier League as they have already made 3 key signings in Issa Diop, Lukasz Fabianski and Ryan Fredericks.
Handing over a £10m-a-year contract to Manuel Pellegrini was not the only convincing statement with David Sullivan and the rest of the United ownership ready to give the Premier League winning manager all the right pieces to work his magic next season.
Going after Rafinha is the ideal move for Pellegrini to address some of the issues that came to light last season. Other than Manuel Lanzini and Mark Noble, West Ham do not really have an outright creative option from the central areas. They are starved of width on the wings, which forced David Moyes to look for a loan signing in Joao Mario in January. The Portuguese international did a decent job to help the side through to safety in the second half of the campaign. But it would be a real statement of intent if Pellegrini can get his hands on Rafinha.
The Brazilian is not close to a starting spot at the Camp Nou but has bags of talent in those feet. Standing at 5 feet 8 inches, Rafinha is one of the agilest figures on the pitch and can dribble his way out of tight spaces with ease, just like his brother Thiago Alcantara.
The 25-year-old play in both attacking and deep midfield positions. He has all the technical prowess to succeed in the Premier League, especially in the system Pellegrini implements.
No system is perfect and just like the quality of talent La Masia churns out, more often than not, the graduates fail to make it into the club’s senior team. Rafinha is one of those leaks who is well below the pecking order behind the likes of Ivan Rakitic, Philippe Coutinho, Andre Gomes, Dennis Suarez, Paulinho and Sergio Busquets.
It will take a lot to impress Tite for a spot in the Brazil squad in the future but Rafinha can certainly take up the spotlight by playing in the Premier League. He played in 17 games for Inter last season and was directly involved in five goals. The Brazilian also has 23 caps for his country’s youth sides and two for the senior squad. But do you think he is the right man for West Ham?