Chelsea chase over - Brazilian-born starlet signs at Barca

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Football News

Chelsea have failed in their pursuit of Rafinha after Barcelona confirmed the midfielder has signed a new deal.

The Brazilian-born 18-year-old, younger brother of club teammate Thiago Alcantara, has been the subject of intense transfer speculation with a contract set to expire at the end of the season.

However, after reports yesterday that a 'verbal agreement' was in place between the two parties, the Spanish U21 international has signed a three-year extension and is now tied down to the club until 2015.

It's a blow to Chelsea, whose manager Andre Villas-Boas has been one of the parties monitoring the player closest, along with Real Madrid chief Jose Mourinho.

The Blues were eager to add Rafinha, who made his senior debut in the Copa del Rey earlier in the month, to their growing young ranks at Stamford Bridge, with the former Porto boss investing heavily in young players at Chelsea since his arrival in the summer.

Romelu Lukaku, Oriol Romeu and Juan Mata all arrived in west London following the 34-year-old's appointment, but the possibility of landing Rafinha on a free transfer is now gone for Chelsea.

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