Inter Milan sporting director Piero Ausilio is said to be ready to meet with Barcelona officials this week in a bid to accelerate the transfer of Rafinha Alcantara to the Serie A giants.

Mundo Deportivo claims that Barcelona have already turned down an opening bid worth €20m (£17.8m, $24.5m) plus €3m in add-ons from the Italian giants as Ernesto Valverde's side are holding out for up to €40m to part ways with the Brazilian midfielder.

The negotiations between the clubs have stalled due to that massive €17m difference but the Spanish publication suggests that Inter will comeback with an improved bid to complete the signing of the 24-year-old midfielder before the end of the current January transfer window.

Mundo Deportivo points out that the Serie A giants have already agreed terms with Rafinha to sign a four-and-a-half year deal at Luciano Spalletti's side once the clubs reach an agreement.

The report adds Inter chief Ausilio recently called his Barcelona counterparts to set up a meeting this week in a bid to step up negotiations.

The 24-year-old midfielder has not played a game since April 2017 after suffering a serious knee injury which required two bouts of surgery.

Rafinha was given medical clearance last month but Valverde has since failed to give him a single chance to play in a strong indication that the academy product is not part of his plans.

Over the weekend, the Barcelona boss left the former Celta Vigo loanee out of his squad once again for the 4-2 win over Real Sociedad despite being also without Philippe Coutinho, Paco Alcacer, Samuel Umtiti and Nelson Semedo due to various injuries.

An exit this month either on loan or on a permanent basis therefore looks inevitable as the situation is unlikely to improve in the second half of the season following the arrivals of Coutinho from Liverpool and Yerry Mina from Palmeiras.

Arda Turan found himself in a similar situation but on Saturday Barcelona agreed to let him go to Istanbul Basaksehir on a two-and-a-half year loan deal.

Meanwhile, Aleix Vidal and Gerard Deulofeu have also been tipped to head for the exit this month having also been deemed surplus to requirements by Valverde.

Rafinha Alcantara
Rafinha is yet to play a game since suffering an injury against Granada on 2 April. Getty