Barcelona's Rafinha joins Celta on loan

Madrid (AFP) –


Barcelona forward Rafinha has joined Celta Vigo on loan until the end of the season, the clubs announced on Monday.

Rafinha spent a year on loan at Celta in 2013-14 and will rejoin the Galician side in the hope of being given more opportunities to play.

Barca have also extended Rafinha's contract to prevent the Brazilian being able to leave on a free next summer.

"FC Barcelona and the Rafinha player have reached an agreement for the renewal of his contract until the end of the 2020/21 season," Barca said in a statement.

"Likewise, FC Barcelona and Celta have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player for the 2019/20 season."

Celta will pay Rafinha's contract and could owe Barcelona a further 1.5 million euros in potential add-ons.

Brought through at Barcelona with his brother Thiago Alcantara, who is at Bayern Munich, Rafinha's career has been interrupted by serious knee injuries in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

He has also struggled for minutes under Ernesto Valverde and looked set for another season on the fringes, behind the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele.

Celta called it a "particularly exciting return" and said Rafinha, who grew up in Vigo, would add "enormous quality, versatility, commitment and enthusiasm".