The Brazilian defender is seen posing with a friend in the black football shirt, looking totally relaxed, but with the emblem of Manchester City just above the unfamiliar sponsor.
It is not a Manchester City shirt - although the mere fact it features the same badge as United’s local rivals is likely to anger members of the Red Devils’ faithful.
Indeed, some have already commented on Twitter, voicing their disbelief at the photo.
“[Antonio] Valencia [is] better anyway,” wrote one user underneath the image, which was posted online by the popular Manchester United fan-run account @UTDReport.
Rafael trying to make a point?
Rafael has been on the scene for too long now to know this photograph, if it hasn’t been edited in any way, would not have gone unnoticed - was he trying to make a less-than-subtle point to his current employers?
The South American has a year left to run on his contract and, as things stand, it seems Manchester United have very little interest in renewing his deal.
Rafael made 10 Premier League appearances for United under Louis van Gaal last season; a combination of injuries and poor form leaving him behind Antonio Valencia in the pecking order by the second half of the campaign.
That United are reportedly keen to sign a new right-back - although they have missed out on both Dani Alves and Nathaniel Clyne already this summer - suggests Van Gaal will attempt to move the Brazilian on, either this summer or in 2016.
Rafael deserves another chance
This would disappoint some fans at Old Trafford, who have witnessed Rafael produce some fabulous performances for the Red Devils since he arrived at the club alongside twin brother Fabio in 2008.
Unfortunately, though, he has lacked consistency, been unable to stay fit at certain points in his United career and still possesses a questionable temperament.
Rafael is prone to the odd rush of blood to the head, as Van Gaal saw for himself during the humiliating 5-3 defeat to Leicester City towards the beginning on last season.
Perhaps Van Gaal will hand Rafael another opportunity to prove himself next season, but he has done himself no favours with this latest photo.
Manchester United fans: how do you feel about this latest photo of Rafael? Does it bother you? Have your say in the comments below!
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