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Robben, Rafinha commit to Bayern Munich for another season

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MUNICH (AP) — Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is staying with the club for another season.

Bayern says that both Robben and Brazilian defender Rafinha have agreed to extend their contracts through June 2019, and will soon sign their new deals.

The 34-year-old Robben, who joined Bayern from Real Madrid in 2009, had been considering other offers but he follows Franck Ribery, 35, in committing to another season with the Bavarian powerhouse.

The 32-year-old Rafinha joined in 2011 from Genoa.

Inter Milan sign Barcelona midfielder Rafinha on loan

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MILAN (AP) Inter Milan completed the signing of Barcelona midfielder Rafinha on loan until the end of the season, with a view to a permanent move.

Inter can sign the Brazil international permanently for $43 million plus $3.7 million in bonuses, and said on Monday that option “must be taken up before the end of the season.”

Rafinha, who was born in Sao Paulo, had been at Barcelona since 2006, when he joined its youth team. He spent the 2013-14 season on loan at Celta Vigo.

After nine months out after surgery on his right knee, he made his first appearance of the season last week as a late substitute in Barcelona’s Copa del Rey defeat at Espanyol.

“It’s an important stage in my life,” he said, “and I had a lot of desire to approach this new phase in my career.”

Inter has slipped to fourth in Serie A, 11 points behind leader Napoli.

It could slip out of the Champions League places if Roma wins its match in hand on Wednesday.

“I hope to play in as many matches as possible and help the team to reach our objective which is Champions League qualification,” Rafinha said.

Chelsea looking to Bayern Munich for right back insurance

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Antonio Conte may be turning to Bayern Munich to strengthen his defense.

Bild has a report that Chelsea is interested in Bayern reserve Rafinha, who is in the last year of his contract with the Allianz Arena set.

The 31-year-old Brazilian has been with Bayern since 2011, where he arrived after one season at Genoa. Before that, Rafinha spent five seasons with Schalke.

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His appearance numbers have dipped with Bayern since 2013-14, but Rafinha has averaged about 30 matches per year for the club.

Rafinha would give Conte affordable cover at right back, where Victor Moses is first choice and Antonio Rudiger and Cesar Azpilicueta can operate outside of a three-CB set.

Barcelona loses Rafinha for rest of the season

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Liverpool isn’t the only team dealing with a season-ending injury to a key piece.

Barcelona has lost midfielder Rafinha for four months after he underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus.

Rafinha has played 28 times this year, scoring seven goals for the Blaugranas.

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The 24-year-old Brazilian has been beset with injuries this season, including time off from problems with his ribs, thigh, nose, achilles and now knee.

Barca still has the Champions League quarterfinals against Juventus, this season’s away El Clasico, and a Copa del Rey final this season.

Bayern Munich’s Rafinha turns down Brazil call-up

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Bayern Munich right-back Rafinha has turned down a call-up to the Brazilian national team ahead of two upcoming World Cup qualifiers in October.

Brazil manager Dunga looked to bring the 30-year-old into his side which is thin defensively, as both Dani Alves and Danilo are out with injuries.

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However, Rafinha would still be behind Fabinho in Dunga’s pecking order, which led the Bayern Munich defender to opt out of the side.

The Brazilian federation released a statement saying they respected Rafinha’s decision, which all but ended his chances of being included in the national team moving forward.

We respect the player’s decision, commend his transparency and we are canceling the call-up of Rafinha.

The CBF believes that only players who are fully committed to the national team and our philosophy of work can be part of the group that represents Brazil around the world.

Despite enjoying a successful career in the Bundesliga with Schalke and Bayern, as well as a short stint in Italy with Genoa, Rafinha has only made two appearances for the Brazilian national side. His first cap came back in 2008, and then he had to wait six years before featuring against South Africa in 2014.

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However, both of those appearances were in non-competitive friendly matches, which according to FIFA rules, would make Rafinha eligible to represent another country. After living in Germany for ten years, it is believed he is looking to gain German citizenship and will try to earn a spot under Joachim Low for the defending world champions.

After long-time German captain and right-back Phillip Lahm retired from international play after winning the World Cup in 2014, he gave great praise to his Bayern teammate Rafinha. Lahm said he would recommend to Low that Rafinha take his place in the national side, which now looks like a real possibility.