Barcelona are reportedly set to offer Rafinha to Liverpool as a sweetener to secure the summer deal for Philippe Coutinho.
Spanish publication Don Balon have reported that Barcelona are ready to make a player plus cash offer to Liverpool to land Philippe Coutinho in the summer transfer window, with his compatriot Rafinha making the switch to Anfield as part of the deal.
Coutinho has evolved into one of the most impactful players in the Premier League, having established himself as a key component in the Liverpool first-team set up. His rapid improvements have helped him become a regular fixture in the Brazil national team as well, and he is one of the first names on the team sheet for both club and country.
And as he continues to go from strength to strength for the Reds, Coutinho is starting to attract the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe. Of these, Barcelona are believed to be the front-runners to secure his services in the summer.
The Catalan club are eager to bring in reinforcements in midfield in the summer, as they prepare to plan for life after Andres Iniesta calls it a day. They have, thus, been identifying viable targets to pursue in the transfer market, with Coutinho emerging as a top priority to succeed Iniesta.
In fact, Barcelona have been monitoring Coutinho’s progress for a long time now and are now preparing to make a move for him. Recent reports have suggested that Coutinho is open to the summer switch to Camp Nou, but Liverpool are unwilling to let go of their prized asset without a fight.
Additionally, Liverpool will demand €90 million from Barcelona in exchange for his services. However, Barcelona believe they have a trick up their sleeve, as they are ready to offer Coutinho’s compatriot Rafinha as a makeweight to secure the deal for the Liverpool number 10.
Rafinha has quickly established himself as a regular in Barcelona’s first-team setup having progressed through the club’s famed La Masia academy. 2016/17 was turning out to be quite the promising campaign for the Brazilian midfielder, as he made 26 appearances across all competitions before an unfortunate knee injury ended his season prematurely.
The report suggests that Rafinha could be open to a move away from Camp Nou, as well, if he gets even more game time elsewhere. He could get that at Liverpool, where the sale of Coutinho would leave a spot up for grabs in the starting eleven.
As far as Barcelona are concerned, offering Rafinha as part of the deal for Coutinho will help them lower Liverpool’s asking price while helping them secure the services of their number one target. It now remains to be seen if Liverpool accept such a deal, with Coutinho getting closer to securing a dream move to Barcelona.