Serie A side Internazionale have announced reaching a deal to sign Brazilian midfielder Rafinha on loan from Spanish giants Barcelona.
The 24-year-old dropped down the pecking order at the Camp Nou due to fitness issues, but will hope to resurrect his career at Inter, where he will remain until the end of the season.
The Nerazzurri have the option to purchase the player for €35m plus bonuses, before the end of the current campaign.
Speaking to the InterTV after the move, Rafinha, who will where the number eight shirt, said: “I’m really happy, it’s a great feeling to be here. It’s an important stage in my life and I had a lot of desire to approach this new phase in my career.
“There have been a lot of important players at Inter who have made history. I want to do my best and give everything to finish as high as possible and win titles with this shirt.”
“I hope to play in as many matches as possible and help the team to reach our objective which is Champions League qualification.”
Having joined the Catalan side at the age of 13, Rafinha came up through the club’s famed La Masia academy, blossoming into a first-team star and making his debut back in 2011.
With Barcelona recently completing the capture of Rafinha’s compatriot Philippe Coutinho from Premier League side Liverpool, opportunities would have been limited in any case.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde previously revealed having discussed the move with the player, making it clear that he needed to go out and play elsewhere for the time being.
Rafinha’s a very useful, talented player. Could bring a lot to Inter given his versatility and skill set. Fitness is the only question mark hanging over him as an individual.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) January 22, 2018
“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.”
In his time at Barcelona, Rafinha won nine trophies including a Champions League, two league titles and three Copas del Rey.