Manchester United fought late battle with Manchester City for Rafinha

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Manchester United tried to pull off a late deal for Barcelona starlet Rafinha by activating a £23 million release clause in his contract - but failed because the player had no interest in leaving Spain according to reports. Manchester City were also willing to do the same but failed for the same reason.

The youngster has been with Barcelona since the age of 13 since moving from Brazil and made his debut against Elche at the start of the season. 


Big things are expected of the 21-year-old, who could well follow his brother Thiago Alcantara all the way into the full Spanish national side. 

It seems as though both Manchester United and Manchester City have both caught wind of his potential and tried to make a move for him before deadline day. The Daily Star, quoting sources in Spain, say both Manchester clubs were aware of the attacking midfielder's £23 million release clause, which would have left Barcelona vulnerable. 

Manchester United interest

However the youngster wished to remain with the Catalan clubs in order to work under new boss Luis Enrique, who has been promoting youngsters such as Rafinha and Munir El Haddadi so far this term having taken over from Gerardo Martino.

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Both Manchester City and Manchester United may have missed their chance to land Rafinha, with Barcelona chief now working to tie him down to a new contract with a bigger release clause. 


The Catalan club have a habit of inserting extortinate release clauses into their players' contracts. Lionel Messi is free to leave for example - but only if one of his suitors cough up a fee of around £200 million. 

They had their fingers burned by the sale of Thiago Alcantara to Bayern Munich. The midfielder is rated as one of Spain's best youngsters but left the Nou Camp for just under £22 million, and they will want to avoid the same thing happening to his brother.

Deadline day

There was plenty going on behind the scenes on deadline day at Manchester United as they bought in Radamel Falcao and let go a host of players including Danny Welback, however that wasn't the case with Manchester City.

They got all their business done early and didn't sign a single player on the last day of the window - although they did let the likes of Micah Richards and John Guidetti leave.

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