Rafinha's Father Says Player Must 'Look for an Exit' from Barcelona

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 3: Rafinha of FC Barcelona during the La Liga Santander  match between Rayo Vallecano v FC Barcelona at the Estadio de Vallecas on November 3, 2018 in Madrid Spain (Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)
Soccrates Images/Getty Images

The father and agent of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has said they will be seeking a departure from the Camp Nou as a result of the player's lack of action. 

Rafinha moved to Inter Milan on loan for the second half of last season but is part of the Barcelona squad this term.

So far in 2018-19 the Brazilian has only made four starts in all competitions, and his father Mazinho has made it clear he feels the 25-year-old needs to get on the pitch more often, per Radio Galicia Sport (h/t Goal).

"It's crazy. He can't understand anything. Only the coach knows what he has or doesn't have. The truth is that we're trying to get Rafa into a situation where he plays regularly. We have to look for an exit because it's really complicated for him here [at Barcelona]. It's been basically two years hardly playing, and he needs a club to give him 30 or 40 games a season."

 When he has taken to the field this term Rafinha has performed well for the Blaugrana at times, as he scored in the recent win over Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League.

Mazinho said that Rafinha shone in pre-season, has "had some spectacular games" and "doesn't understand" why he's not been more involved this term.

Rafael Hernandez of the Grup14.com Barca fan site wasn't impressed with the way the Brazilian performed in the recent 5-1 win over rivals Real Madrid: 

Rafael Hernández @RafaelH117

Rafinha is sinking on the pitch, a meltdown.

At the moment the midfield positions are more competitive than any other in the Barcelona squad, as there are a number of high-class players jostling for minutes and plenty who are not involved at all as a result.

Manager Ernesto Valverde has typically gone with Arthur Melo, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets as a trio, with Philippe Coutinho drafted into the central position at times. Arturo Vidal is another option for the Blaugrana, as are Denis Suarez and Rafinha.

Having suffered with injuries in recent years, Rafinha has slipped a long way down the pecking order and he's getting close to what should be the peak years of his career with little direction. As such, his desire for regular minutes is understandable.

According to Tuttosport (h/t Sport), there is still interest from Inter in re-signing the midfielder; he made 17 appearances for the Milan outfit last season, scoring twice and laying on three assists.

It would be a wrench for Rafinha to leave Barcelona permanently, as he emerged from the club's academy and was expected to become a regular in the first team before a serious injury struck in September 2015. 

If there's any lingering chance of him reaching those heights again, he needs to move on from the Camp Nou and start getting regular minutes under his belt again.