Reports: Liverpool set to make a move for Rafinha
Klopp is wary of a Coutinho departure and have identified the Brazilian as an ideal replacement
What's the story?
The summer transfer window has sprung back to life with the European giants ready to cash in as we enter the make or break month before the new season takes shape. Big money moves such as Neymar's and Mbappe's have triggered a sequence of speculations and have invariably put some clubs in jeopardy.
Liverpool are unfortunately one of those clubs that are enduring an unfortunate phase in this transfer window but they are not going to sit back and grieve; Klopp has told sporting director Michael Edwards that he wants Barcelona midfielder Rafinha at Anfield, according to the Daily Express.
Liverpool is ready to pay a sum in the ballpark of £30m for the 24-year-old.
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The Blaugrana are probably going to see the back of their priced asset Neymar shortly. This has spurred them to action and the Catalans are after Philippe Coutinho's signature.
Jurgen Klopp who insists that Coutinho is not for sale has already rejected two bids that Barcelona have made earlier this summer.
But Barca are relentless in their pursuit and a deal for Coutinho looks closer than ever and Liverpool have to look for replacements and have seemingly zeroed in on the 24-year-old Brazilian.
Heart of the matter
Rafinha is surplus to requirements at the Camp Nou. But with the likes of Iniesta and Sergio Busquets coming close to the dusk of their careers, Barcelona have been trying to land top quality reinforcements and are exploring their options. This has unsettled the Brazilian.
Having started only 14 times in the La Liga and once in the Champions League owing to bouts of injuries, the last one being an injury to the internal meniscus (right knee) he picked up in April, Rafinha is strolling into the peak of his career with limited playing time. He has also had to deal with cruciate ligament trouble which saw him miss out on 6 months.
Barcelona have been giving Rafinha starts in important matches but his injury streak is not working in anyone's favour.
But from the limited opportunities that he got, the 24-year-old has tried to make the most of it and scored 7 goals and laid out 2 assists in all competitions in the 2016/17 campaign.
Rafinha plays down the right flank and is capable of delivering quality balls into the box to treat the forwards. He switches to the center of the field and slots in effortlessly.
Barcelona want Coutinho from Liverpool but it has been reported that the Coutinho deal has no bearing on Rafinha's.
Rafinha is tied to Barcelona till 2020. However, he is intent on moving away and had earlier expressed the same,
"My future is open and only God knows what will happen."
"I am a Barcelona player and the most important thing now is to recover from my knee injury and then you will see what happens. All I can say is that everything is open."
Rafinha has a swift pair of feet and has an array of tricks at his disposal. With the impending departure of Coutinho being a source of worry, Liverpool will need to get this deal done.
While Rafinha may not fill the void left by his fellow Brazilian, he will still be a worthy addition to the Liverpool ranks.
It will be interesting to see how Rafinha fares in the Premier League as players who have made the switch have encountered mixed fortunes (read Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez).
But the fact that he is prone to injuries and is making a switch to the Premier League which is famous for its physicality and we'll have to wait and see how that pans out.