Lyon announces deal for Manchester United wing-back Rafael

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Manchester United has agreed to a deal that will send Brazilian wing-back Rafael da Silva to Olympique Lyonnais, according to a release by the Ligue 1 club.

According to the release, Rafael is expected to put the finishing touches on a 4-year contract with Lyon in the coming days after already passing a medical.

Still just 25 years old, it feels like Rafael has been with Manchester United forever, coming into the Red Devils’ youth system from Fluminese back in 2008 at the age of 18.

Despite making 170 appearances for United across his time at Old Trafford, he struggled to gain a firm grip on the first team, only appearing in more than 19 league games in a season once. Rafael’s propensity to bomb forward and feed the attack from the wings was unfortunately offset by an inability to temper his discipline as well as struggles in defending attackers one-on-one. He should thrive in Ligue 1, where there is often more space and less intensity than in England.

Rafael is the third signing of the summer for Lyon, after Claudio Beauvue from Guingamp and Jérémy Morel on a free from Marseille. The club also confirmed it is close to signing another player from overseas.