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Can Vitolo break free from Sampaoli shackles?

La Liga

Barca starlet Rafinha set for new deal

Barcelona teenager Rafael Alcantara has revealed that he is close to penning a new long-term contract with the club.

Alcantara, nicknamed Rafinha, made his first-team debut for the Catalans last week after coming on as a substitute for Cesc Fabregas in the 1-0 Copa del Rey victory over Hospitalet.

The Brazilian-born attacking midfielder has represented Spain at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-19 level and has been tipped to be a future star for club and country.

The 18-year-old, whose brother Thiago has cemented his place as a member of Barca's first-team squad in 2011, admitted there is nowhere he would rather be than Camp Nou as he prepares to sign an extension to his current deal, which runs out at the end of this season.

"Things are looking good, very good," Rafinha was quoted as saying by EFE. "Both parties are pretty close to reaching an agreement. We are very happy to be at this club and want to stay here.

"Making your first-team debut is a dream come true for every player from the youth academy. It was extremely special for me to be part of the best team in the world.

"You never know what will happen in the future, but I'd love to become an important first-team member at Barcelona."


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