Football News

Antonio Valencia could join one of Man Utd’s ‘Big Six’ rivals, says defender’s father

By Harry Edwards

Published: 18:00, 17 March 2019

Antonio Valencia’s father has admitted his son could join one of Manchester United’s rivals in the summer.

The Ecuadorian’s contract with United is up in the summer and Valencia has already confirmed he will not be signing a new deal.

Where next for Antonio Valencia? Five key things to know…

  1. Valencia has confirmed he will not be signing a new contract with Manchester United at the end of the season.
  2. The Ecuadorian signed for United in 2009 from Wigan Athletic and was named club captain by Jose Mourinho last summer.
  3. But Valencia has played just eight games this season, having struggled with injury problems.
  4. And, with Valencia set to become a free agent in the summer, his father has admitted the full-back could join rivals Arsenal.
  5. Valencia was the first non-European player to make 300 appearances for Manchester United.

Valencia’s announcement at the start of March has now been echoed by his father Luis, who has revealed the 33-year-old could be set for a move to United’s Premier League rivals Arsenal.

“He definitely will not continue in Manchester,” Luis Valencia told Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo.

“He wants a change in the air and the club is not going to renew him either. Like everything in life, everything comes to an end.

“Arsenal, West Ham, Inter Milan and one club from China are options, but in football everything is changing. He wants to choose the best option, but above all he wants to sign a contract for two years.

“Not for the money, but for peace and hopefully, he told me, hired by a team that fights for important things.”

Named as Manchester United’s captain in the summer by Mourinho, the full-back has managed just eight appearances across all competitions, having had to cope with serious injury problems.

But his absence has been dealt with well, as both Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot have been rotated at right-back.

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Antonio Valencia bids farewell to United

Signed by Sir Alex Ferguson from Wigan Athletic in 2009, some were slightly taken aback by Valencia’s move to Old Trafford.

But his service at the club, as both a winger and full-back, has seen the Ecuadorian become highly-appreciated by United fans.

And the club appear to have had the same effect on Valencia.

In announcing his departure at the end of the season, Valencia said: “Lago Agrio is a very humble town in Ecuador. When I was a child, I never imagined I’d travel to Europe.

“Thanks to God for letting me play 10 years in the best club in the world: Manchester United. Now I am focused on my recovery so I can end the season playing at Old Trafford!”