Rafinha has passed all of the tests which Barcelona have set him during the pre-season. During the US Tour, he was the team's best player which pompted Valverde to field him from the start in the Spanish Super Cup final and yesterday, he was included in the squad list for this evening's Liga opener against Alavés - just as the transfer window in Italy closes.
Rafinha seeking a more prominent role in the side
Inter Milan, where Rafinha spent the second half of last season on loan, were keen to take him back for the new campaign but with the transfer window now closed, it looks certain that the 25-year-old will be staying to see the rest of 2018/19 at Camp Nou. Ernesto Valverde wants him to stay but Rafinha wants regular playing time and that's not guaranteed in the current set-up at Barça.
Valverde backing Rafinha to stay
“The situation concerning Rafinha I will be taken as closed when the clock strikes midnight on 31 August. There are a lot of rumours doing the rounds and I'm sure it's an issue we'll continue to talk about. Last season he couldn't form part of the squad because of his injury. In theory, he's staying here with us”, Valverde said.