West Ham should move for Rafael in January

Rafael will see his Lyon contract expire at the end of this season, and West Ham United should make a move for the Brazilian defender.

What’s the story?

It would be fair to say that right-back has been an issue for West Ham this season.

Summer arrival Ryan Fredericks started the campaign in that position, but failed to convince, and was eventually replaced by Pablo Zabaleta.

Zabaleta is widely expected to leave West Ham when his contract expires this summer, however, and there is a concern that Fredericks could miss the next few months with an ankle injury that he picked up against Huddersfield Town at the weekend.

It has become a problematic position for the Hammers, but Brazilian defender Rafael could be available for a cut-price fee in January, and the Premier League club should attempt to bring the South American back to England.

Why should West Ham target Rafael?

The defender’s contract with Lyon will expire at the end of this season, meaning that West Ham would be free to open talks with him in January.

There is also the possibility of agreeing a cut-price fee with Lyon at the start of 2019, meanwhile, which would see him move to the London Stadium immediately.

Rafael is still very much a first-team player at Lyon having made 12 appearances this season, but his future is far from secure.

The 28-year-old made more than 100 Premier League appearances during his time at Manchester United, winning three Premier League titles and making two Champions League finals whilst with the Red Devils.

Rafael became a real favourite with the supporters during his time in England, and has since made more than 100 appearances for Lyon.

The Brazilian still has a lot to offer at this level of football, and with his contract at Lyon expiring this summer, West Ham should be eyeing a swoop.