Valencia’s 18-year-old central midfielder Fran Villalba has signed a new contract with his club that will keep him at the Mestalla for four more years. The youngster had attracted attention from some of the biggest clubs in the world including Manchester United, Real Madrid and Barcelona in the last year since his debut for Valencia.
It was already reported earlier this week by Super Deporte that the club is holding advanced talks with their precious asset to keep him at Valencia. The midfielder now revealed in a Twitter post that he will stay at Valencia. He said in his post that he is very happy to be with the team of his life for four more years and wants to contribute to the club.
Villalba has been considered to be one of the best players to come out of the Valencia academy which has produced some of the best players over the last few years including Manchester City midfielder David Silva and Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba.
Villalba was first named in the Valencia first team during their pre-season in 2015 under Nuno Espirito. However, his first team debut came under former Manchester United legend Gary Neville during his short tenure as the coach of the club.
Plaza Deportivo reported that Real Madrid wanted the player and also suggested that Barcelona were repeatedly considering to pay Villalba €4m (£3.6m) to invoke his release clause. His agent Vicente Fores recently told SportWitness that Premier League giants Manchester United were also interested in the player and had made initial contact to find out about his availability.
“United have contacted me. Just a contact to know his situation. They are already aware. I don’t know about Valencia. I reckon they will make it hard; We have just started talking. It is up to United,” said Fores.
Under Gary Neville, Fran Villalba made both his Cup and League Debut. He replaced Andre Gomes in a Copa Del Rey game on the 16th of December as a half-time substitute while he came on in the 84th minute in a La Liga game against Villareal on the 31st of December 2015.
The midfielder has been linked with Manchester United on many occasions but especially in the first few weeks of October when his agent spoke to Manchester United’s contact. The Red Devils have apparently appointed 50 new scouts this season to bring them the best talent in the world but have been unsuccessful on this occasion.
(Video courtesy: Barca 24-7 YouTube channel)