Bayern Munich defender Rafinha has admitted that he will likely leave the club at the end of the season, bringing an end to his eight-year association with the Bundesliga giants.
The 33-year-old, who will be out of contract at the end of the season, has been a valuable member of Bayern's squad in recent years. He has rotated with Joshua Kimmich on the right side of Bayern's defence and has played a huge role in Bayern's Bundesliga dominance since his move to the club in 2011.
Speaking to SporTV (via Bild), Rafinha suggested that he will soon be leaving the club. He said: “My cycle at Bayern is coming to an end. There are many things that can happen in the next six months, but I think it’s my last year.
“There are no talks with other clubs yet out of respect for Bayern. But I think going back to Brazil is a possibility.”
Manager Niko Kovac has utilised Kimmich as a central midfielder in recent weeks, giving Rafinha more opportunities in the starting lineup. He offers a fantastic level of experience and has been vital to Bayern's improvement this season.
However, at 33 years old, Rafinha is undoubtedly approaching the latter stages of his career, and Bayern must begin planning for life without the Brazilian.
Atletico Madrid's Lucas Hernandez has been heavily linked with a move to Bayern, whilst fellow Frenchman Benjamin Pavard has also found himself the subject of speculation following his impressive displays at last summer's World Cup.
Rafinha and Kimmich are Bayern's only recognised right-backs in the current squad, and the club may be forced to invest heavily in the position if Kimmich's long-term future is in midfield.