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West Ham-linked defender Rafael signs new contract with Lyon
Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport via Getty Images

West Ham-linked defender Rafael signs new contract with Lyon

West Ham target Rafael has signed a contract extension with Lyon, the club’s official website has confirmed. This all but ends West Ham’s hopes of landing Rafael.

The former Manchester United right-back has been linked with West Ham recently. The Hammers were reportedly eyeing Rafael on a free transfer, as per The Sun via HITC Sport.

But the Brazilian defender has signed a new contract with Lyon. Rafael has signed a two-year extension, keeping him with the Ligue 1 club until summer 2021.

After moving from Man United in 2015 and initially signing a four-year deal, Rafael has played 117 times for Lyon. And he has now committed the next two years of his career to the French club.

(Photo by Vincent Michel/Icon Sport via Getty Images)

West Ham’s full-back situation

If West Ham are still looking for a new full-back, then they will need to identify a new target. It seems the Rafael pursuit is over after he signed a new deal with Lyon.

But the form of Ryan Fredericks could change Manuel Pellegrini’s mind. The 26-year-old has improved in recent weeks and he capped a fine individual performance against Southampton with his first Premier League goal.

Pablo Zabaleta also signed a one-year extension and Ben Johnson is impressing for the U23 team. Moreover, Sam Byram is returning after impressing for Nottingham Forest.

West Ham now look stocked in the right-back department so missing out on Rafael might not be such a blow.