By Jamie Sanderson
The 21-year-old has developed into a consistent performer for both United and the Brazilian national team in the last 12 months, and Sir Alex Ferguson is ready to reward the full-back’s improvement with fresh terms.
Talks have been underway for weeks over a new four-year-deal, but have now been ramped up and are nearing completion, according to his agent Cassiano Pereira.
‘Rafael is very happy to stay at Manchester United, who are one of the giants of world football and always play in Europe’s biggest competitions,’ he said.
‘Manchester United are the club that opened the door to Europe for him. He is loved, respected and has prestige at the club. We are all very happy that he is renewing his contract.’
The new deal is seen as much about rewarding Rafael’s development as it is fending off interest from Chelsea, who are long-term admirers, and have reportedly asked to be kept in the loop about the negotiations.
Serie A outfit Inter Milan have also been tracking Rafael, but both clubs are now set to be disappointed, with the former Fluminense starlet happy to pledge his future to United.
The news comes as Rafael’s twin brother, Fabio da Silva, prepares to leave Old Trafford on loan, with Queens Park Rangers favourites to land the versatile youngster, ahead of Benfica and Borussia Monchengladbach.
Fifa agent Pereira, who represents both da Silva brothers, confirmed Fabio’s move over the weekend, telling ESPN: ‘He is a sought-after player because he is still young, and we think that his transfer to QPR was the best decision at the time.’
‘He preferred to stay in England to remain in touch with the country’s football style and so that he would not have a problem to adapt to it when he returned to United.’
The duo are set to be re-united at Old Trafford ahead of the 2013/2014 season.