According to a report published by Spanish media outlet Sport, Premier League club West Ham are interested in signing Barcelona midfielder Rafinha and will place an official bid for him in the coming weeks. The attacking midfielder has not nailed down a spot at Barcelona and is likely to leave the club this summer.
Former Barcelona defender Ronald Koeman has taken over the reins at the Catalan club and is intent on revolutionising a Barcelona squad that has seemed mediocre at best over the past few seasons. Rafinha has spent most of his time at Barcelona on loan to other La Liga clubs and may well make a permanent move away from the club this summer.
Barcelona received the harshest possible wake-up call in the Champions League last season against Bayern Munich and are desperately looking for ways to rejuvenate their squad. The Catalans are intent on selling some of their senior players to make way for younger talents and will have several points to prove this season.
Rafinha has been with Barcelona for well over a decade now but has been unable to stake his claim in Barcelona's starting eleven. The midfielder is not particularly happy with his situation at the club and may decide to leave in this transfer window.
Barcelona midfielder Rafinha may join West Ham this season
Barcelona have been heavily criticised for relying far too heavily on senior members of the squad and Ronald Koeman has reacted by making it clear that the likes of Arturo Vidal and Luis Suarez will find no place in his squad. The two veterans were left of out Barcelona's friendly against Gimnastic and may not have much of a role to play in Barcelona's season.
West Ham have not particularly improved under David Moyes and are in desperate need of a creative spark. Rafinha may well be the ideal addition to a West Ham squad that will have to make strides in the transfer market to cope with the increasingly competitive nature of the Premier League.
West Ham will face competition from newly-promoted Premier League rivals Leeds United to sign the Barcelona midfielder. Marcelo Bielsa has built an excellent framework at Leeds United and West Ham will have to offer Rafinha an excellent deal to secure his signature.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has shown indications that he is likely to place his faith in the likes of Riqui Puig, Pedri, and Francisco Trincao this season. Rafinha is currently reaching the peak of his career and will not want to spend it on the sidelines at Barcelona.
West Ham need reinforcements all over the pitch and their underwhelming defensive record has made centre-backs the need of the hour for David Moyes. Rafinha does not have an exorbitant price-tag, however, and West Ham may well be tempted to bid for the midfielder.
Barcelona have plenty of young midfielders in their squad and this season under Ronald Koeman will be crucial for the future of the club. The Dutch manager has indicated that he is open to tactical transformations at the club and his presence may benefit some of Barcelona's younger players.
Rafinha is unlikely to find a place in Barcelona's squad and will have to move on to greener pastures this summer. The talented midfielder will find plenty of suitors in the Premier League and is likely to do well at West Ham.
Also Read: Top 10 attacking trios in football history