The Spaniard has wished his former Manchester United teammate well.
Juan Mata García (@juanmata8) August 4, 2015
The 25-year-old has featured 170 times for United’s first-team but last season he was overlooked in favour of Antonio Valencia and with Matteo Darmian arriving this summer it is no surprise to see Rafael move on.
He was a fan favourite at Old Trafford but he was still error-prone and prone to injury and with United manager Louis van Gaal clearly not seeing him as a viable option he has signed a four-year contract with the Ligue 1 club.
Writing on social media on Tuesday, Mata said, “We will miss you, Rafael. It’s been a pleasure. Good luck, you deserve it.”
United have waved goodbye to a lot of players this summer, with Rafael joining a list that also includes Nani, Robin van Persie and Angelo Henriquez; and there may yet be more departures before the transfer window slams shut.
There are also likely to be one or two more new faces, with an experienced centre-back and an additional forward still surely a priority for van Gaal.