Barca recall Rafinha and Deulofeu
Barcelona's Rafinha and Gerard Deulofeu are to return to the club next season after successful loan spells at Celta Vigo and Everton respectively, while the club have also announced changes to their youth and backroom coaching setup.
The highly rated La Masia youth system-developed pair spent the 2013-14 campaign gaining first-team experience at Balaidos and Goodison Park, but will now be available to new Blaugrana first team coach Luis Enrique -- who was Rafinha's boss at Celta this year -- when the new season kicks off next August.
The news was confirmed in a club statement released during a busy day's business at the Camp Nou offices on Monday.
"Youngsters Gerard Deulofeu and Rafinha Alcantara will be returning to the club after a year out on loan at Everton and Celta Vigo respectively," the statement said.
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"The Catalan winger and the Brazilian born midfielder both came up through La Masia and they have put in impressive performances on loan this year. Gerard Deulofeu played a total of 29 games for Everton this season, starting 11 matches for the Toffees, who ended up in fifth place in the Premier [League].
"The Catalan played an increasingly key role in Roberto Martinez's side, despite suffering an untimely thigh injury just before Christmas, which obliged him to return to Barcelona for treatment.
"Nineteen-year-old Rafinha played 32 games in La Liga for Celta Vigo under the orders of Luis Enrique, 27 of them as a starter, and scored four goals in his 2.435 minutes played."
Barca also announced changes to their youth and backroom coaching setup on Monday, with talking points including Tito Vilanova's former assistant Jordi Roura being named the club's new director of youth football, and Eusebio Sacristan being confirmed for another season as Barca B boss.
The details were included in another statement released via the club's website. "In addition to the announcement that Luis Enrique will be FC Barcelona's new first manager, the board of directors also announced additional changes to the Club's coaching structure," it said.
"Jordi Roura, first team assistant manager under Tito Vilanova, was named the director of youth football, while the physical fitness manager Aureli Altimira will be the new youth system coordinator. Paco Seirul-lo, also a physical fitness manager, was named the director of training methodology, a new position in the existing coaching structure.
"Joan Francesc Ferrer 'Rubi', who joined FC Barcelona in [summer] 2013 after managing Girona [to be Tito's assistant], will not stay on at the Club next season. When it comes to Barca B, the Club has offered current manager Eusebio Sacristan a contract extension."