The 33-year-old says Flamengo are his first choice as he eyes a return to Brazil and he admits he is close to striking a deal with the club
Bayern Munich defender Rafinha says he is close to reaching a deal to join Flamengo.
The 33-year-old right-back contract in Germany expires at the end of the season and is free to negotiate a summer transfer.
The Brazil international has made 15 appearances in all competitions for the Bundesliga club this season, but looks set to return to his homeland 14 years after he left to join Schalke.
Rafinha has admitted that Flamengo are the team he wants to join if he ends up going back to Brazil and that a summer switch looks certain.
“There is mutual interest,” he told Bild. “We are about to reach an agreement. Some details are still missing. But I hope we can resolve this as soon as possible. I want to make it clear that Flamengo is my first option when I return to Brazil.
“I have seen the whole Flamengo project and I really liked it. I still want to win titles and I saw the opportunity with Flamengo.”
The defender’s move should come as no real shock. In December he made it clear that he felt like his time in Barvaria was drawing to a close.
“My cycle at Bayern is coming to an end,” he told SporTV. “There are many things that can happen in the next six months, but I think it’s my last year.”
Despite the desire to move, the defender has not been left completely on the sidelines for the German giants.
He has logged 520 minutes in the Bundesliga for the club this season, starting four of five total appearances and scoring one goal while adding one assist. He also appeared in three Champions League matches, making one start and adding an assist to his total.
Rafinha started his career with Coritiba before heading to Europe in 2005 to join Schalke. After five seasons with the Gelsenkirchen side, he spent a year in Italy at Genoa before returning to the Bundesliga with Bayern.
He has made 255 appearances over seven and a half years at Bayern and won the Bundesliga six times as well as one Champions League title.