Rafinha cleared by Barcelona to complete Inter switch

The Brazilian midfielder has seen fitness issues drop him down the pecking order at Camp Nou, but he will be hoping to impress in Serie A

Barcelona have granted Rafinha permission to complete a move away from the club, with Inter set to take him on an initial loan agreement.

The Brazilian midfielder is a product of the famed La Masia academy system in Catalunya, having first linked up with Barca at the age of 13.

He was handed his senior debut in November 2011, but has seen fitness issues prevent him from making the desired impact at Camp Nou.

Barca are now prepared to let him open a new chapter in his career, with Philippe Coutinho having arrived in a club-record €160 million deal to provide further competition, with Ernesto Valverde confirming that the 24-year-old is heading for the exits.

He told reporters on Saturday when pressed for an update on Rafinha’s future: "He won't be at the training session today as he has permission from the club to sort his situation.

“I spoke to him about his injury and my opinion was that he needs to play minutes and in Barcelona it would be complicated after our last market movements.

“Our idea is to let him to play after a long time off and if he played against Espanyol it was because I thought he could help.”

Rafinha was given 12 minutes off the bench in Barcelona’s last outing – a 1-0 Copa del Rey derby defeat to their Catalan rivals.

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That was the first action he had seen this season, with knee surgery having kept him sidelined since picking up an untimely knock in April 2017.

He will now be hoping to get back to his best in Italy, with Inter expected to tie up a loan deal.

The Serie A heavyweights are poised to take a man with two international caps to his name on an agreement which includes the option for a €35m transfer to be pushed through if they secure Champions League qualification.