Manchester United agreed to send Brazilian right-back Rafael da Silva to Olympique Lyonnais on Aug. 3. da Silva will sign a four-year deal with Lyon.
Rafael da Silva is on his way to Olympique Lyonnais.
Manchester United agreed to send the 25-year-old Brazilian right-back to Lyon on Aug. 3. According to Ben Hiibbs of ManUtd.com, da Silva underwent a physical exam in Lyon. He will sign a four-year deal with the team.
Lyon confirmed the four-year contract on its official website. It runs through June 30, 2019.
According to PA Sport (via ESPN FC), Lyon will pay Rafael £2.5 million.
da Silva is simply known as "Rafael." He ends his nearly eight-year tenure in Manchester. He joined the club together with twin brother Fabio, per Hibbs.
Rafael wrote a touching farewell message to Manchester United fans. He wrote this on his offiicial Instagram page on Monday.
In his message, Rafael thanked the club and its fans for their support:
"I want to thank Manchester United fans for all the love During Those 8 years. Since I signed with the club I lived incredible moments, after all it was 8 years wearing the shirt of one of the biggest clubs of the world.
"Thank you Manchester United FC. I also want to thank all employees who always treated me with great affection and casette me greater attention.
"Thank you United Kingdom, I learned a lot in this country, as a player, and no doubt as a human being, que lessons I will keep for the rest of my life.
"Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson is always believing in my work and for all the doors That You opened up to me. Now it's a new path, a new challenge, God bless me!"
Ferguson and David Moyes gave Rafael ample opportunities with Manchester United. New manager Louis van Gaal preferred Antonio Valencia when he took over, per PA Sport.
Rafael is Lyon's third new acquisition this offseason. The first two were Jeremy Morel and Claudio Beauvue, per OLweb.fr.
Manchester United's acquisition of ight-back Matteo Darmian made Rafael expendable, per PA Sport.
Back on July 14, Rafael already wanted to leave the club. He was eyeing a move to Serie A with either A.S. Roma or ACF Fiorentina.
van Gaal did not include him in the team's preseason lineup, per ESPN FC's Richard Jolly.
Rafael's agent, Cassiano Pereira, told Tuttomercatoweb about the interest to play in Italy. ESPN FC obtained the information:
"His contract expires in June 2016 and the coach, van Gaal, said isn't counting on him, so the player wants to leave and we are talking with more than one club about this.
"Roma would be a more than welcome destination. We would be more than happy to talk to the capital club. Italy would be a great opportunity, particularly as he has a Portugese passport.
"If Fiorentina call us, we'll be very happy to talk. The player is very interested in playing in Italy."
Rafael made his first-team debut seven years ago. Since then, he scored five goals in 170 matches for Manchester United, per ManUtd.com.
He started in just six Premier League games during the 2014-15 season, per ESPN FC.
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