Rafinha set to stay at Barcelona despite Inter interest

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The 25-year-old midfielder faces intense competition in the Barca engine room, but the club are keen to retain his services

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha will be staying put at Camp Nou for the 2018-19 season, according to club international transfer director Ariedo Braida. 

Rafinha, 25, has recovered from a series of serious injuries to work his way back into Barca coach Ernesto Valverde's first-team plans. 

But the Brazilian might have been lining up for Inter this season had it not been for a problem with the club's Financial Fair Play balance. 

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Inter were unable to make last season's loan deal permanent due to wage restrictions, although with a new FFP year beginning from July the Serie A giants had been rumoured with another bid for Rafinha. 

Braida, however, insists there is little chance of that happening during the current window. 

“Rafinha will probably stay at Barcelona,” Braida told Radio Sportiva.

“He’s a lad with great football qualities, he can decide matches with a skilful touch on the ball, and he can do it here or elsewhere.

After being restricted to just one Barca appearance in the 2017-18 due to physical problems prior to his Inter loan, Rafinha also received the backing of the director as he looks to compete with the likes of Arturo Vidal, Philippe Coutinho, Arthur and Ivan Rakitic for a first-team berth.

“Last year he was coming off a serious knee injury and he did really well at Inter, he’s a very interesting player who is happy at Barcelona," Braida added.

Rafinha has played 79 games to date in Blaugrana colours, scoring 11 goals.

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