Rafael da Silva is on the verge of signing a new long term deal that will keep him at Manchester United until 2016, according to the player’s agent.

The Brazilian full-back has battled gainfully to hold down a regular starting spot for United since he arrived at Old Trafford in 2008, and was selected to start in the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2009.

His brother Fabio has been linked with a loan move to Benfica in order to develop his game next season, while a short-term switch to QPR could also be on the cards.

However it would appear Sir Alex Ferguson considers Rafael to be part of his first team plans next season, with the 21-year-old's agent, Cassiano Pereira, telling Estadao ESPN that a new deal for the Brazilian international was close.

'Rafael is very happy to stay at Manchester United, who are one of the giants of world football and always play in Europe's biggest competitions,' he said.

'Manchester United are the club that opened the door to Europe for him. He is loved, respected and has prestige at the club.

‘We are all very happy that he is renewing his contract,' he added.

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