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Rafael extends United stay

Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva has signed a new four-year contract that will keep him at Old Trafford until the end of the 2015-16 season.

• Fabio da Silva joins QPR on loan

Rafael, 21, joined United from Fluminense with twin brother Fabio in 2008, and has since earned international recognition with Brazil.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson told manutd.com: "Rafael is one of the club's brightest young prospects; he has no fear of playing and has great belief in himself.

"The boy has developed immensely since joining United, his energy and enthusiasm are a joy to watch. Rafael has all the attributes to become one of the best full-backs in the world and I am delighted he has signed a new contract."

Rafael made 18 appearances for United last season in the Community Shield, Premier League, Carling Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

The full-back said: "I am so happy to sign a new contract. I love playing for Manchester United, there is a great team spirit here and a real desire to win.

"My time here has been unbelievable; winning two league titles, a league cup and a Club World Cup has made me hungry for more trophies. I would like to thank Sir Alex for his belief in me and I would also like to thank the fans for their support."

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