Football: Lyon reach deal to sign United's Rafael

Rafael joined United with his twin brother Fabio from Fluminense in 2008 and leaves Manchester with three Premier League titles, and a League Cup win.
Rafael joined United with his twin brother Fabio from Fluminense in 2008 and leaves Manchester with three Premier League titles, and a League Cup win.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES

(AFP) - Manchester United's Rafael is joining Lyon after the two clubs reached a deal over the Brazilian right-back, the French side announced on Monday.

The 25-year-old, who leaves Old Trafford after a seven year spell, has passed a medical examination and will sign a four year contract with the former multiple French champions.

Rafael joined United with his twin brother Fabio from Fluminense in 2008 and leaves Manchester with three Premier League titles, and a League Cup win.

Last season he only turned out ten times, with new coach Louis van Gaal more often preferring Antonio Valencia.

Rafael, who was told he could leave United after being omitted from their pre-season tour of the United States, said his goodbyes to United on Twitter.

"I want to thank Manchester United fans for all the love during those eight years," he wrote.

"Since I signed with the club I lived incredible moments, after all, it was eight years wearing the shirt of one of the biggest clubs of the world." Rafael, who has played for his country twice, is the third new face at Lyon this close season after the arrival of Claudio Beauvue from Guingamp and Jeremy Morel from Marseille.

Lyon came second eight points behind Paris Saint-Germain in Ligue 1 last season with the champions set to confirm the arrival of Rafael's teammate Angel di Maria this week.