Barcelona and Inter Milan are close to reaching an agreement over the transfer of Rafinha, who has been deemed surplus to requirements by Ernesto Valverde.

The Serie A giants have been on the trail of the Brazilian midfielder since the start of the transfer window and are said to have finally sealed a deal after holding talks with the Catalan club's officials this week.

Barcelona were reluctant to sanction the move as Inter were seeking a loan move while the La Liga side are keen on a permanent solution. It was reported recently that Barcelona were holding out for a fee of around €40m (£35.5m), with the Serie A club €17m short of the valuation with their first bid which was €20m plus €3m in add-ons.

However, according to goal.com, the two clubs are said to have made a breakthrough in talks after Inter agreed to include the option of making the deal permanent at the end of the loan deal. If the move goes through Rafinha will become the Italian club's second signing of the winter transfer window following the arrival of defender Lisandro Lopez from Benfica earlier this week.

The 24-year-old Barcelona midfielder is just returning from long-term injury and has not made a single appearance this season. He received medical clearance to resume playing earlier this month and after being left out of the squad for their previous games, the midfielder was named in Valverde's 18-man squad for their upcoming Copa del Rey quarter-final clash against city rivals Espanyol.

Meanwhile, according to Spanish publication Sport, Inter are also looking to Barcelona to boost their forward line with Gerard Deulofeu on their radar. The Spanish winger is another player edging towards the exit doors at the Camp Nou after struggling for game time this season.

The 23-year-old was re-signed by the Catalan giants from Everton in the summer, but he has made just nine appearances in the league thus far this campaign. Deulofeu is keen to play more in order to fight for a place in Julen Lopetegui's 23-man World Cup squad and is looking for a permanent solution before the end of the month.

Inter are said to be keen to sign the forward, but will not have it easy as current Serie A leaders Napoli are also keen on signing Deulofeu, who is valued at €20m by Barcelona.

Rafinha
Rafinha has not made a single appearance for Barcelona this season owing to injury Getty