Photo: Rafael sends message to Man United fans after exit

Rafael da Silva sends a message to Manchester United's fans ahead of his summer transfer to Lyon

A photo posted by Rafael Da Silva (@orafa2) on

Rafael da Silva took to social media to pay tribute to Manchester United’s fans after the Brazilian closed in on his summer transfer to French side Lyon.

The full-back fell out of favour under Louis van Gaal last season and was limited to just six Premier League starts as he struggled with injury during the Dutchman’s first campaign in charge at Old Trafford.

The defender is set to join Lyon in a deal reported to be worth around £2.1m – and he used social media to send a heartfelt message to United’s supporters on Monday evening.

Rafael posted the photo montage above on his personal Instagram account and wrote: “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 gave me greater attention.

“Thank you United Kingdom, I learned a lot in this country, as a player, and no doubt as a human being, lessons that I will keep for the rest of my life.

“Thank you Sir Alex Ferguson for 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!”

MORE: Read the latest Man United player tweets

Rafael’s transfer away from the club comes after Van Gaal appeared to prefer winger-turned-defender Antonio Valencia when available over the Brazilian last season.

Manchester United kick off their Premier League campaign with a home clash against Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

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