Manchester United defender Rafael has no chance of persuading Louis van Gaal that he has a long-term future at Old Trafford, with Brazilian club Cruzeiro leading the charge for a fan favourite that has now effectively been transfer listed more than two months before the season finishes.
That is according to the Daily Mail, who report that United are willing to listen to any offers for a player than Van Gaal just doesn't have faith in his despite considerable Premier League experience.
Rafael hasn't featured in the Premier League since New Years Day and has now been left out of eight successive squads altogether, which means its time for United fans to say goodbye to a player with huge support in the stands at the Theatre of Dreams.
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Van Gaal has lost faith
United fans took a real shine to Rafael during their last Premier League campaign because he showed huge desire to get bomb on, influence play and make things happen in the final third.
Rafael carved out a reputation as a an aggressive, forward-thinking full-back, but its those traits have proved a major turn-off for Van Gaal.
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Replacements already lined up
Plans are clearly well underway at United to find Rafael's replacement, with Southampton star Nathaniel Cylne and Porto standout Danilo both being monitored closely.
Paddy McNair looks tailor-made to be either man's understudy, all further evidence that Rafael is surplus to requirements. Van Gaal is a ruthless operator who has no business dealing in sentiment, but it still seems a shame that Rafael is set be unceremoniously dumped when so many other Untied players have got more chances to prove their worth.
Return to Brazil would be premature
The 24-year-old is set to be offered a lucrative chance to return home by Brazilian champions Cruzeiro, but he's a player with enough quality to postpone that switch for a few years at least.
Rafael at his best is a tenacious, exciting right-back than can still offer plenty to the vast majority of Premier League clubs, let alone other options on the continent.
His agent Cassiano Pereira will need to be very busy between now and May, because there's plenty of life left in Rafael away from the Theatre of Dreams.
Man United fans, do you think Van Gaal has made a mistake putting Rafael on the transfer list? Who would you like to see replace him as United's first-choice right back next season? Let us know by having your say in the comment box below!
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