Manchester United right-back Rafael da Silva is on the verge of signing a four-year deal with Lyon, and will complete a £2.1million move to Ligue 1 imminently.
That’s according to The Times, who claim that the Brazilian is due to become Louis van Gaal’s sixth high-profile release of the summer, having lost his place in the first-team to positional rivals.
Rafael exit looms
It’s believed Rafael will put pen to paper on a lengthy deal in France, with his days at Old Trafford numbered following the arrival of Matteo Darmian and continued competition from Antonio Valencia.
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Despite featuring regularly under Sir Alex Ferguson, the 25-year-old’s fortunes have somewhat changed since the Scot’s retirement, and he hasn’t looked like being regularly used under Van Gaal.
That can in some part be attributed to the injury issues he had last season, but even when fit Van Gaal preferred to play Antonio Valencia out of position.
As a result it’s clear that the Dutchman sees him as dead-weight in his new look Red Devils squad, and will make him the sixth summer transfer window when said deal with Lyon is officially wrapped up.
So far Robin van Persie has already left the club for Turkey, as has Nani, whilst Tom Cleverley was cut loose having seen his contract expire, Radamel Falcao was allowed to return to AS Monaco - he’s subsequently joined Chelsea - and it looks incredibly likely that Angel Di Maria will become a Paris Saint-Germain player within the next couple of days.
That said Van Gaal has also been active with regards to adding to his team. The aforesaid Darmian was purchased from Torino, putting direct pressure on Rafael, whilst Memphis Depay, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Morgan Schneiderlin and Sergio Romero have all be signed.
It’s clear to see United aren’t planning on wasting any more time as they look to get back amongst the big boys. That said one might question their decision to let Rafael go, as he would have made for a useful backup to Darmian.
Valencia is consistently good but isn’t a natural right-back, and for Van Gaal to have plenty of strength in every position it might have been wise for him to retain Rafael and push the Ecuador international further up the pitch.
Nevertheless Lyon's president, Jean-Michel Aulas, has confirmed said deal is to go ahead, tweeting that an agreement has been found and that Rafael has arrived in France.
United fans, what do you think? Is it right that Van Gaal will sell Rafael? Let us know in the comments box below.