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Inter Milan signs Rafinha on loan to end of season

January 22, 2018

FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016 file photo, Barcelona's Rafinha reacts after scoring during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Granada at the Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain. Inter Milan has completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move. Inter says on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018 it has the option of signing the Brazil international permanently for 35 million euros ($43 million) plus 3 million euros ($3.7 million) in bonuses but that "must be taken up before the end of the current season." (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez, File)

MILAN (AP) — Inter Milan completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move.

Inter can sign the Brazil international permanently for 35 million euros ($43 million) plus 3 million euros ($3.7 million) in bonuses, and said on Monday that option “must be taken up before the end of the season.”

Rafinha, who was born in Sao Paulo, had been at Barcelona since 2006, when he joined its youth team. He spent the 2013-14 season on loan at Celta Vigo.

After nine months out after surgery on his right knee, he made his first appearance of the season last week as a late substitute in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey defeat at Espanyol.

“It’s an important stage in my life,” he said, “and I had a lot of desire to approach this new phase in my career.”

Inter has slipped to fourth in Serie A, 11 points behind leader Napoli.

It could slip out of the Champions League places if Roma wins its match in hand on Wednesday.

“I hope to play in as many matches as possible and help the team to reach our objective which is Champions League qualification,” Rafinha said.

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