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United Defender Set To Leave

Manchester United right-back Rafael da Silva is set to become yet another casualty of Louis van Gaal’s mass clear-out this summer. The defender is believed to be close to a £2.1 million transfer to Ligue 1 side Lyon.

The Brazilian was rumoured to be on the way out last summer, but LvG supposedly gave the player one last chance. Antonio Valencia went on to impress Van Gaal in the Dutchman’s first season at the club, and combined with injuries and loss of form, Rafael was demoted to the U21’s. Now it’s likely the No 2 really is on the way out, and while earlier reports suggested the fee could be around £7 million, the latest round shows that the figure is just over £2 million – unbelievable given the fact he’s a capped Brazilian with various Premier League medals at just 25!

Louis van Gaal did not include Rafael in this years pre-season tour squad, a move which gave even more light on the supposed transfer out of the club. This morning’s reports suggest that the player will undergo a medical in the coming days, and the deal will be finalised by the weekend.

The 25-year-old has favourited a number of tweets from United supporters, all of whom thank him for his years of service and commitment. There also appears to be a tweet which shows Rafael in Lyon, which was followed by a flurry of early welcomes from Lyon fans.

Rafael will go down as a player who never quite stamped his authority down and staked his claim in the first XI. Although the Brazilian replaced Gary Neville as United’s right back at a very young age, you did get the sense he needed some added protection from the right midfielder (usually Valencia, whilst under Sir Alex). His often very liable defending gave United fans some very tough moments – the most rememberable of which will probably be his red card against Bayern Munich in the 2010 Champions League quarter-final, which saw United blow a rather comfortable looking game and eventually lose on aggregate.

Rafael certainly showed glimpses of brilliance under Sir Alex Ferguson, but similar to many United players, the Brazilian’s form declined under David Moyes, and Van Gaal’s ruthlessness has now led to his departure.

Thanks for everything Rafael! Best of luck in the future from everyone at Manchester United.