Barcelona utility man Rafinha has temporarily left the club to join Celta Vigo on a season-long loan deal, having also penned a new Camp Nou deal.

Barcelona were one of the most active clubs in this summer’s transfer window. They have now effectively concluded their transfer business after the departure of utility midfielder Rafinha, the club confirmed on Monday. The Brazilian international moves to Celta Vigo on a season-long loan deal, but before completing the switch, he also signed a new contract with the Blaugrana.

Rafinha is not in Ernesto Valverde’s plans for this season, particularly with Carles Perez and Ansu Fati impressing in the early games. Even though Barcelona have struggled with injuries so far, which forced the manager to field Rafinha in the starting lineup for each of the last two games, they certainly do not have a place in the team for the Braziianl over the course of the season.

The 26-year-old had been subjected to transfer speculation throughout the summer, although no move could materialise till now. Valencia were one of the first sides who were very much interested in securing his services.

But, Los Che decided to call off their pursuit due to Barcelona’s high asking price of €15 million for a player who only had a year to run on his deal at the time. As Valencia, or instead, most sides refused to meet his valuation, Barcelona had no choice but to get him off on a loan deal.

However, before Rafinha moved, Barcelona ensured they have their investment protected and offered him an extension to his current deal. Barcelona might have felt the need to do so because, if Rafinha goes on to have a good season with Celta Vigo, they might lose him on a free.

Rafinha will hope to impress at Celta Vigo. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)
Rafinha will hope to impress at Celta Vigo. (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

But, with the player signing a new deal, the La Liga champions would be able to demand a transfer fee next summer, should interest in him resurface. At Celta Vigo, the La Masia product can hope to get more minutes over the course of the season, seeing as Denis Suarez and Brais Mendez have very little competition.

In his time at Barcelona, Rafinha has made 90 appearances for the senior side, scoring 12 times. Rafinha graduated from the club’s La Masia academy. However, during his time in the first-team setup, Rafinha has gone out on loan deals before. Back in the 2013-14 season, he spent the season with Celta Vigo, while in 2018 he joined Inter Milan on a six-month contract.

Rafinha, still only 26, has a long future ahead of him. Like in his previous loan stints, he might be able to prove to be a valuable asset at the Balaidos. As for Barcelona, they have their investment protected and could demand a significant fee if he goes on to have a good campaign with Celta Vigo.

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