Rafinha 'very likely' to stay at Barcelona

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Barcelona director Ariedo Braida expects Rafinha to remain at the Spanish club after Inter opted against making his loan move permanent.

Rafinha, like his brother Thiago Alcantara, came through the youth system at Barca and was highly rated as a youngster, catching the eye while on loan at Celta Vigo in 2013-14.

He became a squad player in Barca's first-team on the back of that campaign, but injuries disrupted his progress and he was allowed to join Inter on loan for the second half of the 2017-18 season – the Serie A club securing a purchase option as part of the deal.

While Rafinha went on to feature 17 times in the league for Inter, they did not trigger the purchase clause set at €35million, plus €3m in variables, and now Braida – who is head of Barca's international scouting – understands the midfielder will stay at Camp Nou.

"Rafinha, very likely, will stay at Barca," the Italian told Radio Sportiva.

"He is a boy of great footballing ability and is a player who can decide games because of his handling of the ball. He has the conditions to go far, if he wants to.

"Last year he came from a serious injury, but when he recovered he did great things at Inter.

"He is a player who has impressive technical abilities. He's a very interesting player who is very good at Barca."

Rafinha started for Barca in Sunday's 2-1 Supercopa de Espana win over Sevilla before being replaced at half-time by Ivan Rakitic.