Manchester United news: Arsenal an option for Antonio Valencia next season, claims agent
What's the story?
Manchester United veteran Antonio Valencia, who finds himself sidelined from the main squad currently, has multiple options including Premier League rivals Arsenal after he leaves Old Trafford at the end of the season, according to his father and agent Luis Valencia.
Valencia, whose contract with his current club expires in June this year, has been left out of the squad for important fixtures including the UEFA Champions League as well as the FA Cup loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday due to a persistent injury.
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Valencia joined The Red Devils in 2009 and was even awarded the coveted No. 7 jersey in the 2012-13 season, when he used to play as a winger, as opposed to his current defensive role.
In his Manchester United career that spanned over a decade, he has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, two League Cups and the UEFA Europa League with the club.
The heart of the matter
The 33-year-old has been in and out of the first team this season following a spell of injuries.
He has only made one appearance for the club across all competitions this year and there have been no developments on talks between him and the club.
Valencia's father spoke to Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo and declared that his son will not be playing for Manchester United come next season. He said:
"He definitely will not continue in Manchester. He wants a change in the air and the club is not going to renew his contract either."
He also mentioned that there are a lot of big clubs that would like to secure the services of the captain of the Ecuador National team, which included United's arch-rivals Arsenal. He continued:
"Arsenal, West Ham, Inter Milan and one club from China are options, but in football everything is changing."
He also aimed a sly dig at his son's current employers, by saying that Valencia wants to join a team that plays for important things, other than money. He added:
"Not for the money, but for peace and hopefully, he told me, be hired by a team that fights for important things."
The Gunners' first choice right-back Hector Bellerin is facing up to nine months on the sidelines due to injury. So, it remains to be seen whether Unai Emery considers landing a seasoned PL player for free, given he is back to full fitness by then.