Rafinha’s current contract with Bayern Munich runs through June 2018, but the veteran defender has already made it clear that he wants to leave to return to his native Brazil. Bayern offered him a two-year contract extension, but the Brazilian is adamant that he wants to return to the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, where he started his senior career with Coritiba in 2002. The majority of his family, it’s important to note, still live in Brazil, and he’s spent the last 16-plus years playing in European top flights between Schalke, Genoa, and of course, Bayern.
Rafinha’s exclusive representative in Brazil, Lincoln, revealed in an interview with Portuguese reporter Samuel Venâncio of Radio Itatiaia that negotiations are starting with Bayern in December to see if the club will give him permission to leave:
There's no point in pursuing negotiations here in Brazil, since we have not yet been released by Bayern. This conversation with Bayern will take place in the first or second week of December, because it has already been scheduled. So, until then, there's no way for anyone to decide anything.
Both Lincoln and Rafinha recognize Bayern’s perspective on the Brazilian’s potential departure, but Lincoln suggests that the level of professionalism in the negotiations between both parties will remain at its highest:
There are Rafinha's intentions, Rafinha's wish, and that counts for a lot, because he has always been an exemplary professional, cares a great deal about everyone there, but you can also understand Bayern Munich's perspective, because it's not easy to release Rafinha, especially since they don't have a replacement.
With the number of injuries that Bayern currently have, losing Rafinha could easily put them in a tricky spot and potentially force them to look for a replacement in the winter transfer window. Rafinha himself has just returned to full team training after a recent ankle injury.