Barcelona midfielder Rafinha could leave in January for more playing time ahead of the 2018 World Cup next summer, potentially opening the door for Arsenal to make an approach.

Rafinha is currently recovering from a knee injury and will have limited opportunities in the Barcelona first team once he’s fit again. According to Mundo Deportivo, the 24-year-old will look for a loan move in January so he can play regularly and be called up for his national side ahead of next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Arsenal, Liverpool and AC Milan were all linked throughout the summer and are thought to still be interested. Arsenal’s need for a midfielder is well-documented, but the Gunners perhaps need one who’s more defensive than the Brazilian is.

Rafinha is known as an attacking player who’s done well as part of a midfield three or while playing in the forward line. He wouldn’t be suited to Arsenal’s double pivot. The midfielder enjoyed a good loan spell at Celta Vigo during the 2013/14 season and earned a place in Barcelona’s squad for the following season.

He made 36 appearances that year, but injury has severely limited his playing time ever since. He’s made just 39 appearances in the last two seasons.

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News and feature writer with a BA in Creative and Professional Writing from the University of East London. Long-time Arsenal fan also following Sevilla and local side Southend United. You can find me on Twitter @jeinchy29 talking about Arsenal and the issues affecting the English game,