Van Gaal confirms that Rafael won't play again this season

Rafael 2

The Manchester United fullback's season is over, and it's a campaign he is unlikely to be happy with.

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has revealed that right back Rafael is set to miss the final few games of the season with a rib injury, as reported by Sky Sports.

Rafael suffered the blow in an Under-21 game against Leicester City this week, in an aerial clash with winger Anthony Knockaert.

The Brazilian has had a disappointing season under the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss. Having been first choice right back in Sir Alex Ferguson's final few years in charge, the 24-year-old has  just 11 appearances to his name this year, and has played three minutes in the league since New Year's Day. 

Rafael started six games in a row towards the beginning of the season, but hasn't made the starting eleven in a league game since October.

He had been building up his fitness for United's Under-21 side in recent weeks, while occupying a place on the bench for the first team given the club's impressive form.

Rafael's contract is due to expire in 2016, and there is some uncertainty as to whether the former Fluminense youngster has a long-term role at Old Trafford under Van Gaal.

Given Antonio Valencia's impressive form as both right back and right wingback, and United's rumoured hunt for another fullback, with Barcelona's Dani Alves available on a free transfer and linked by many such as the Metro over the course of the season, it's possible the Rafael may be deemed expendable this summer.

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