Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has confirmed Manchester United full-back Rafael da Silva has arrived at the club ahead of his imminent move to the Ligue 1 side. The 25-year-old featured just 11 times under manager Louis van Gaal last season and his days at Old Trafford have been numbered ever since his agent revealed in June the United boss told his client that he can no longer rely on him.
According to The Times, Rafael will sign a four-year deal with the French side in a move that will cost the club a fee of £2.1m ($3.3m). The defender is currently in France awaiting the deal to go through, as revealed by Lyon chief Aulas, who wrote on Twitter: "Rafael has arrived and we expect to reach an agreement with Manchester United. He is a cheerful Brazilian."
Rafael, whose current deal at Old Trafford expires in 2016, lost his place at right-back to Antonio Valencia in another season interrupted by injury last term. With Matteo Darmian's arrival at Old Trafford, the former Fluminense starlet has slipped further down the pecking order and on 13 July he was left out of the club's pre-season squad travelling to the US.
Speaking to Italian outlet Tutto Mercato Web in July, the defender's agent Cassiano Pereira revealed his client wished to leave Manchester after a frank conversation with his manager. He said: "His contract expires in June 2016 and the coach Louis van Gaal said he did not count on him. So the player wants to leave and we are talking with clubs."
Rafael arrived at Old Trafford alongside twin brother Fabio da Silva in 2008 and has won four Premier League titles and a League Cup.