Rafinha eyes January exit

Barcelona midfielder Rafinha Alcantara is willing to leave the club in January to secure first-team football after recovering from a knee injury.

The Brazilian damaged his knee ligaments in last season’s 4-1 victory at Granada in early April and has not featured for the Catalan giants since.

Earlier this month he returned to first-team training although the midfielder – who scored seven goals in 28 appearances last season – may find playing opportunities limited.

El Mundo Deportivo reports he would be happy to stay at the Catalan giants but first-team chances will be limited further following the arrival of Paulinho over summer alongside the form of Ivan Rakitic.

Rafinha – whose brother Thiago plays for Bayern Munich and Spain – has ‘a dream’ to play in the World Cup next summer and is said to be trusted by Brazil Coach Tite, but no regular football could jeopardise his place in the squad.

The 24-year-old was previously linked with moves to Juventus, Arsenal and Liverpool but interest in him has quietened since summer.

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