Little Rafa is big target for Man Utd in the summer
Rafa Alcantara is from a rich footballing family, being the son of former Brazilian World Cup winner Mazinho, the younger brother of Bayern Munich and Spain international Thiago and cousin of Benfica forward Rodrigo.
Manchester United are linked with Rafa, commonly known as Rafinha (little Rafa), after missing out on his older sibling Thiago last summer. The Premier League holders are way down the table this season in seventh place and only have odds of 7/1 for a top four finish.
The 21-year-old is currently on loan at La Liga side Celta Vigo from parent club Barcelona and has turned in some very impressive performances.
Rafinha has helped his temporary team to 11th place (eight points clear of the drop) in the Spanish top-flight so far this season, contributing with three goals and five assists in 23 league games.
Galician club Celta are on a bit of a role in the league at the moment as well, being undefeated in their last four (winning three). Rafinha provided an assist apiece in two of those victories. His side are odds-on to win their next match at home to Getafe at 4/5.
The midfielder primarily operates in the box-to-box role, but has been utilised deeper for Vigo – owned by car makers Citroen.
United boss David Moyes looks set to keep his job for next summer, no matter where they finish in the league, and the club’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has promised new additions.
“It’s fair to say we are focused on strengthening the squad. We aren’t afraid of moving in the market in a way we perhaps haven’t seen in recent years,” Woodward said.
“We’ve had roughly three sales and three purchases each year, and it’s possible we would do more than that.”
However, Rafinha’s father recently stated that his son, a Brazil Under-20 international that previously played youth football for Spain, has hopes of staying at Barca.
Mazinho said: “He is a Barcelona player. But we don’t know what will happen in the future, if he will return or be loaned again. But Rafinha is working hard to play for Barcelona in the future.”
With Rafinha’s contract running out in 2016, the Catalan side at least have a bit of time to consider the future of their starlet, but will no doubt hope he stays.