Manchester United star Rafael da Silva has revealed that he is hoping the club decide to offer him a new contract before his current deal runs out at the end of next season.
In an interview published on the official United website, the Brazilian right-back revealed that if he could he would remain with the club “forever”, despite also admitting that he was sad at the amount of his friends who had left in recent times.
Having now been a part of the setup at Old Trafford for six seasons, after initially making his debut in the 2008/09 season, Rafael counts as a homegrown player, and now ranks amongst one of the most senior members of Louis van Gaal’s squad.
However his future under the Dutchman has been the subject of speculation, particularly as before last week’s victory over QPR he hadn’t featured for the first-team as a starting player in a competitive fixture since March.
Now though, having fully recovered from injury and well on the road to regaining his place in the starting XI at United, Rafael is setting his sights on ensuring his stay at Old Trafford doesn’t end next before its time.
Hungry for new deal
"I am glad but sad because a lot of friends have left. I am glad I am still here," he said.
"I want to keep going and stay here forever, if possible. It depends on me to play well, I need to play well. I just want to stay here."
Competition for places
Of course if Van Gaal were to opt not to offer the full-back a new deal it would raise too many eyebrows. In the 3-5-2 formation he is looking to implement the role of the right-sided wingback could go to Antonio Valencia, with Ashley Young also capable of slotting into the role.
It’s likely Rafael wouldn’t struggle to find a place elsewhere if that were the case, but the 24-year-old has made it clear that isn’t a route he will actively look to engage with.