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Is Inter Milan back in the running for Rafinha?

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Reports suggest negotiations could resume for Barca midfielder.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A
Juan Cuadrado (L) of Juventus FC competes for the ball with Rafinha Alcantara of FC Internazionale Milano during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

What was once dead is now alive again.

Reports in Italy suggest Inter Milan could resume negotiations for Barcelona midfielder Rafinha this month.

The latest news is that Inter Milan management have agreed to a valuation of “more than €30 million” for Rafinha, meaning that one of the biggest hurdles in earlier negotiations has been cleared.

The new deal could include a loan for next season with an obligation to purchase at the end of the year, which is the structure many deals have taken due to the Nerazzurri needing to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.

FC Internazionale v Juventus - Serie A
Rafinha Alcantara of FC Internazionale Milano shouts during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale and Juventus at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on April 28, 2018 in Milan, Italy.
Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images

There is no dollar amount set on what the loan deal would cost nor what the purchase price would be, but if it were true it would prove that patience is a virtue for all three parties involved.

It is no secret that Rafinha was a key component to Inter’s run at the Champions League last season, but all seemed lost after the Nerazzurri signed former Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan.

However, with fellow loanee Joao Cancelo being picked up by Juventus and Inter looking for more attacking options in the middle, re-opening negotiations for Rafinha could be a good thing.

The key to this deal is both sides finding the right dollar amount to assign to a final deal. Obviously, Barcelona want more money, but structuring this as a loan with an obligation saves Inter from running afoul of any FFP rules. The only real issue is that it is a big risk to take on the 24-year-old.

With his health being an issue in the past, putting a big number on Rafinha would be something Inter management would have to be willing to stake dollars on.

That said, Rafinha proved to be an essential part of the Nerazzurri’s run last season as his footwork, ball movement and — perhaps more importantly — his emotion on the field seemed to guide Inter as the season wore down.

There is no question Rafinha added value to the team on the field last season and his passion for wanting to play at Inter was really never in doubt as his disappointment in not being picked up at the end of the season displayed.

He would add versatility to the midfield along with Nainggolan and, if he stays, Matias Vecino. Toss in Kwadwo Asamoah — who will likely play more defense than midfield — and Marcelo Brozovic and you have a pretty dangerous midfield that could produce a lot of benefit for the Nerazzurri.

However, with his health remaining a concern, it remains a risk to dump nearly €30 million on Rafinha.

But, if he were to stay healthy, I can see the money being well-spent in the long run.


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