£25m-rated Manchester United target Rafinha Alcantara: Five facts

Unicef Barcelona

After failing in the summer to sign his brother Thiago, the Premier League champions are thought to be turning to another Barcelona youth graduate.

Manchester United were beaten by Bayern Munich in the race to sign Thiago Alcantara in the summer, but it appears that the Old Trafford outfit could be set to launch a move for his brother.

Rafinha Alcantara has starred in a loan spell for Celta Vigo this season, with the Barcelona youngster catching the attention of plenty of European scouts in the process.

El Mundo Deportivo reported this week that a number of Premier League clubs were monitoring the skillful youngster, with United thought to be considering matching his £25 million release clause.

With this in mind, here are five facts about the lesser know of the Alcantara brothers.

  • Despite his brother playing for European and German champions Bayern Munich, the siblings are not the only famous footballers in the family. 1994 World Cup winner Mazinho is the pair’s father.
  • A skillful attacking midfielder, Rafinha has come through the La Masia youth system and played most of his football for Barcelona B. The playmaker netted 20 goals in two seasons with the Catalan reserves, playing just over 80 games.
  • Rafinha made his senior Barcelona debut in November 2011 in the Copa del Rey, but has never represented the Blaugrana in La Liga.
  • The midfielder signed a new contract with Barca last June that will keep him at Camp Nou until 2016. However, he has spent this season on loan at Celta Vigo, where he has netted four goals and laid on five assists in 20 La Liga appearances.
  • Despite his brother playing for Spain, Rafinha has pledged his allegiance to the land of his birth, Brazil. He represented Spain at under-16, 17 and 19 level, but has since switched to represent Brazil at under-20 level, making three appearances.

image: © HowardLake

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