In a recent print edition, Mundo Deportivo mentioned that Manchester City could be offered a chance to sign Barcelona playmaker Rafinha Alcantara for Eric Garcia this summer. It is believed that the Catalans are hesitant to pay more than €12m for the Spanish defender with Man City valuing him at €30m. Therefore, Barca could use Rafinha as a makeweight to lure Pep Guardiola’s team to sanction Garcia’s exit before the transfer deadline next month (transcripted and translated by Sport Witness).
Rafinha’s Lack Of Productivity In Spanish Football Last Season
The 27-year-old experienced an uneventful loan spell with Celta Vigo last season when he struggled to score or create goals regularly under Óscar García Junyent’s stewardship. The Brazilian attacker found the back of the net on four occasions and grabbed two assists in 33 matches for the Spanish side on all fronts.
However, Rafinha deserves credit for his all-around contributions at the Estadio de Balaídos as he averaged 2.4 tackles, 1.1 interceptions, 0.7 clearances, 1.1 shots, 0.8 key passes and 2.1 dribbles per game in La Liga last season. He was also quite efficient when distributing the ball as evident from his pass success rate of 87.1% of his attempted passes in the Spanish top tier (stats via whoscored).
The Brazilian midfielder has enjoyed a successful career at the Nou Camp having won multiple trophies with his boyhood club. However, Rafinha needs to seek a new challenge if he wants to stay relevant at the highest level. Therefore, the Etihad Stadium could be an ideal destination for him as he could flourish playing in Pep Guardiola’s possession-based system in the coming seasons.
What Will The Sao Paulo-Born Midfield Ace Add To Pep Guardiola’s Team?
Rafinha lacks pace but is a terrific dribbler with the ball in the opposition half. He is also a pure striker of the ball which makes him a threat from long range. The Brazilian playmaker can interchange possession well with others around him and is quite fluid in the way he operates in the number ten position. He is also versatile enough to play in a more reserved role in midfield or as a winger down the right flank.
Should Man City Entertain The Possibility Of Losing Garcia For Rafinha This Summer?
Garcia has not made the best start to this campaign as he has looked shaky at the back in recent weeks. The Spaniard was a part of the Man City team that shipped in five goals versus Leicester City last weekend. However, the potential arrival of Ruben Dias from Benfica could ease Guardiola’s defensive concerns.
With the exception of Garcia, Man City have got four senior centre-backs in their squad in the form of Nathan Ake, John Stones, Aymeric Laporte and Dias. However, both Stones and Laporte have been injury-prone over the past year, which is why Guardiola cannot afford to let one of his first-team defenders leave without bringing in a suitable replacement.
All in all, the Mancunian giants should not entertain the possibility of giving Garcia up for Rafinha. Plus, Man City have enough strength in depth in their midfield department, so recruiting a player like Rafinha should not be high on their priority list anyway.