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Just how important is Rafinha to Inter Milan?

Reports suggest Nerazzurri willing to sacrifice to keep Barcelona midfielder.

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FC Internazionale Training Session
Rafinha Alcantara of FC Internazionale controls the ball during the FC Internazionale training session at the club’s training ground Suning Training Center in memory of Angelo Moratti on February 15, 2018 in Como, Italy.
Photo by Marco Luzzani - Inter/Inter via Getty Images

If reports hold up, Inter Milan may have already settled on their newest midfielder.

In order to do so, the Nerazzurri would be willing to make Joao Mario’s move to West Ham United permanent, according to reports in England.

While the terms of Mario’s loan to London did not include a purchase option, Tuttosport report that Inter management would be willing to work an arrangement to allow the Hammers to keep the Portuguese international.

The Italian media outlet also suggest Inter Milan would also make Geoffrey Kondogbia’s move to Valencia permanent and cut Marcelo Brozovic loose to help pay the nearly €40 million it would take to keep Barcelona castoff Rafinha at the San Siro permanently.

Most of that fee to Barcelona could be made up with an outright sale of Mario to West Ham, if the Premier League club will accept terms of around €30 million. That amount would be close to the €40 million Inter paid for Mario from Sporting Lisbon in 2016.

Mario seems to be happy in London:

“I will try to do my best. It’s important for me to show my quality in a West Ham shirt,” Mario said, as quoted by Read West Ham. “I am glad to be here and I will give everything.”

If the reports are true, it would appear Rafinha has impressed Inter management and coach Luciano Spalletti in his short time in Milan. So far, the Brazilian has made three appearances, but broke out in Inter’s 2-1 win against Bologna where he came on midway through the second half and showed pace and poise as the Nerazzurri snapped an eight-game winless streak.

The only real issue with Rafinha is his health.

He is coming off injury that limited his time on the pitch at Barcelona. Spalletti has even admitted he is not physically ready for 90 minutes of football. That said, he plays like his is hungry for time on the field and it may be a matter of time before his full impact on the squad is felt.

Is he worth €35 million and €3 million of add-ons? Not yet, but his quality of play has done nothing but elevate over his first three games. If that trend continues, it would be easy to justify parting ways with Brozovic and sending Mario and Kondogbia away for good to keep him.

What do you think? Post your comments below!