5 Barcelona players who have a point to prove this pre-season
FC Barcelona soon jet off to the States for the International Champions Cup 2018 as the pre-season tour is set to commence soon. The Spanish champions accordingly announced the 28-member squad for the same that unsurprisingly sees several World Cup stars left out, bringing along a much-weakened side comprising of fringe players and also teenagers from the academy.
Whilst the excitement of watching them play some really intriguing fixtures is already killed, it nevertheless presents an opportunity to the substitutes, who're linked with a move away from the club, a final opportunity to make an impression in the hopes of securing some first-team football next season. And also rescue their Barcelona career.
The Blaugrana have been blighted by several unsuccessful transfers in the recent times. But here are 5 players drinking in the last chance saloon and have to prove a point in this trip, else risk being loaned out or sold permanently:
#5 Rafinha Alcantara
Having found first-team opportunities severely limited with Barcelona, the Brazilian was finally shipped off to Inter Milan in January this year. He had a fine time with the Nerazzurri, starting 17 league games, scoring twice and assisting thrice to help bring Champions League nights back to the San Siro. However, he's now back to his old stomping ground and would participate in the pre-season.
Rafinha was found quoting towards the tail end of last season that he's happy at Inter, capitalizing on the chances presented to him and seamlessly slotting into the team. They have the option of buying him permanently for €35 million, but that seems unlikely to happen now with the Milan outfit investing in Radja Nainngolan instead. So Rafinha is effectively back to square one unless another lucrative offer comes to pass.
Right now, Turkish side Fenerbahce are the only ones reported to be interested in the 25-year old. His performances in the ICC would decide his future as a stellar pre-season can help him either get more time with the Blaugrana next season or attract interest from the mightier quarters of European football. Either way, Rafinha is in for a challenging pre-season.