Somewhat forgotten in the Rafinha's rise is that his contract, signed following his transfer from Genoa, expires at the end of the season.
A recent story from Bild has linked the 28-year-old right back with Corinthians, the Brazilian side who are the current holders of the FIFA Club World Cup. While the story exhibits Rafinha's desire to stay in Europe, a return to Brazil could still be in the cards.
"Everything seems possible at this point. He feels great at FC Bayern, but his contract ends soon," Christian Rapp, one of Rafinha's representatives, told Bild.
Rafinha last played in Brazil for Coritiba, currently in the Liga do Brasil. He signed with Schalke 04 in August, 2005 on a €5 million transfer.
Corinthians currently have 10 players with European experience, including former FC Bayern attacker Paolo Guerrero. Lúcio and Zé Roberto are also current FC Bayern alumni playing in Brazil, Lúcio for São Paolo and Zé Roberto for Grêmio.
Having already matched his Bundesliga appearances from last season, Rafinha is getting much more of a look-in from Pep Guardiola than he did under Jupp Heynckes. The loyalty the Brazilian has seen may mean that he would consider resigning, even if it is on a shorter-term deal.
If Rafinha were to leave, FC Bayern would likely have to seek for a replacement as an insurance policy for Philipp Lahm. The only in-house options currently are Dennis Chessa and Vladimir Rankovic, unless Guardiola decided to move someone out of position like Jérôme Boateng or Holger Badstuber (if ever healthy).
Although this is more of a minor situation, Rafinha's transfer status is something worth keeping on the back burner, and hopefully it will not get too hot back there.