French side, Olympique Lyon have confirmed the capture of Brazilian full back Rafael da Silva from Manchester United on a four year contract for a fee believed to be around £2.5 million.
The 25-year old right fullback who has 2 international caps for Brazil joined United in the summer of 2008 alongside his twin brother Fabio (who is currently contracted to Cardiff) from Brazillian club Fluminese. He went on to establish himself in the side and featured regularly under club icon and long serving manager, Sir Alex Ferguson and then David Moyes. After the unceremonious departure of Moyes and the arrival of Dutch tactician, Louis van Gaal, he saw his playing time drastically reduced with Ecuadorian winger Antonio Valencia preferred ahead of him. With just six starting appearances last season in the Premier League, it became obvious that he was not highly regarded by the new boss.
After LvG omitted his name from the travelling squad for the club’s tour of the United States and the signing of Italian right-back Matteo Darmian from Torino, it became apparent that Rafael having amassed 170 caps and 5 goals for United was now surplus to requirements.
With the Brazillian bidding farewell to United, the club would now be in search of a backup right back for apparent first choice Darmian. The versatility of English duo, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have seen them put in shifts at rightback with average outputs, the club would be better served searching for a backup right back as the duo have struggled with injuries recently and with their options at the center of defence currently thin, they would not want to overburden the injury plagued duo thus risking further injuries.