Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has joined Celta Vigo on loan for the rest of the season, via the club’s official website.
The Brazilian has also signed a new deal with Barca, committing himself to the club until 2021, but will spend this term gaining first-team minutes with Celta, who only narrowly avoided relegation last season.
Rafinha’s temporary club will take on his salary plus potential add-ons of up to €1.5m (roughly £1.3m).
Having joined the Catalan giants aged 13, the Brazilian became a star for the club’s under-19s and was given a chance to prove himself in Barcelona’s B team under the guidance of then-manager Luis Enrique in 2010/11. He made his first-team debut for the club in 2011 under Pep Guardiola.
The 26-year-old has helped Barcelona to 11 titles during his time with the club, including: 1x UEFA Champions League, 3x La Liga, 3x Copa del Rey, 1x UEFA Super Cup, 2x Spanish Super Cup, and 1x FIFA Club World Cup. In addition, the midfielder has scored 12 goals in 91 games for the club’s first-team.
A statement on Barca’s official site reads: “FC Barcelona would like to publicly express its gratitude to Rafinha for his commitment and dedication, and wishes him the best of luck and continued success.”
Although he has been sent on loan, Barcelona do clearly value Rafinha after offering him a contract extension.
And, with current midfielders Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal all now over the age of 30, there could be a chance for the South American to break into Ernesto Valverde’s first-team in the not so distant future if he works hard at Celta Vigo this term.
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