Rafael da Silva’s agent has revealed that his client would welcome a transfer from Manchester United to AS Roma due to Louis van Gaal, though admitted there had been no formal enquiries lodged from any Italian sides with regards to his signature.
Earlier today it was revealed that Rafael had not made the cut for United’s pre-season tour of the States, with new boy Matteo Darmian and last season’s make-shift right-back Antonio Valencia both selected.
As a result it’s now considered a formality that the Brazilian will leave this summer, with Van Gaal clearly not ready to include him in his plans for the future. Just where he’ll move to at the moment remains a mystery, though his agent’s latest quotes might just nod towards Rome.
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“Roma would be a destination more than welcome, we would be more than happy to talk to the club of the capital,” Cassiano Pereira said, according to reports.
“Italy would be a great opportunity but I must say that we have not heard anything about an interest from the Italian team for Rafael.
"His contract expires in June 2016 and the coach Louis Van Gaal said he did not count on him. So the player wants to leave and we are talking with clubs."
Despite having been a regular fixture in the United sides of both Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, Rafael struggled to impress Van Gaal last season and his plight was solidified by a string of unfortunate injuries.
Van Gaal unmoved
Reports then detailed how the Dutch manager was keen to draft in another right-back as he wasn’t assured of his option in the position, a tell-tale sign that Rafael was losing his fight to convince Van Gaal of his abilities. Then came the capture of Darmian from Torino, relegating the 25-year-old to a place on the bench even when he’s fit.
Yesterday it was reported that talks were in place to see Rafael move to Benfica as part of the deal that would potentially see Nicolas Gaitan heading the other way. Aside from agent confirmation there’s been no official statement either accepting or denying those negotiations, but it certainly seems now as though it’s best for all parties that Rafael moves on.
Roma a good move?
He could yet end up playing for another major European side given his age, though his next move looks likely to take him down a peg, particularly if Benfica are the successful suitors.
A switch to Roma would allow him to fight for the title in Italy as Rudi Garcia’s side seek to end Juventus’ spell of unerring dominance, though it would mean adapting to a new league as Rafael has only ever played football at a senior level in England.
United fans, do you think Rafael should have been given another chance? Is Darmian far better? Let us know in the comments box below.