With Sunderland struggling at the wrong end of the Premier League table, manager David Moyes is likely to be eyeing up new recruits already – and rumour has it that Lyon right-back Rafael is among them.
Having already brought in Paddy McNair, Donald Love and Adnan Januzaj, reports that the Black Cats boss is after another former Manchester United man will come as no surprise.
That’s especially true when you consider that Rafael was a regular under Moyes at Old Trafford, playing in key games against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City and Arsenal.
There’s no doubting the Brazilian packs plenty of creative talent when on form. Three goals and four assists from the right-back position during the 2012-13 season with the Red Devils is testament to that, and he’s retained that injection of pace and intelligent dribbling, to get in behind defences.
With Love short on experience and loanee Javier Manquillo only a short-term fix, there looks to be plenty of sense in bringing in a player with a track record of success and plenty of pedigree in English football.
Indeed, Rafael notched up 109 games in the Premier League for United, winning three league titles, as well as victory in a League Cup final and a start in a Champions League semi-final.
With Rafael in and out of the Lyon side – making just 18 league starts last season – there seems every chance he’d be open to a move back to English football, and with Transfermarkt.co.uk valuing the 26-year-old at £4.25m, the Wearsiders would be unlikely to baulk at the price.
Sunderland head to fellow strugglers Stoke City on Saturday with both sides looking for their first league win of the season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing