Apart from replacing Edwin van der Sar this summer, the other priority Sir Alex Ferguson has is finding a dominant central midfielder. Paul Scholes hasn’t given any indication of whether he will retire this summer although many feel it will be his last and Michael Carrick unable to perform when it matters, Fergie most look for more creative options in central midfield.
Many reports have linked United with Javier Pastore, along with a host of other clubs, however Sir Alex is set to favour the cheaper option of Mathieu Valbuena. While Pastore is set to cost at least £35 million, Valbuena would available for around half that. This would allow the United manager to have the funds left over for a top goalie.
However United aren’t the only team sniffing around Valbuena with Barcelona also rumoured to be interested in the Frenchman. Barcelona are also interested in Pastore so it may well come down to a case of whoever takes Pastore first will leave the door open for Valbuena.
The agent of Marseille midfielder Mathieu Valbuena has revealed the 26-year-old playmaker is hugely flattered by the alleged interest from Premier League leaders Manchester United and their La Liga counterparts Barcelona.
The diminutive Ligue 1 star has been mentioned as a potential heir to Red Devils’ veteran Paul Scholes. He certainly has some of the attributes required with superb technical skills, ability to make space and something Scholes lacks which is great pace.
Although Valbuena’s agent, Christophe Hutteau, claims the player is concentrating solely on Marseille’s commitments this season, he conceded the midfielder is hugely honoured by the rumoured overtures from two of Europe’s biggest clubs, because it is great recognition of his ability.
Hutteau told L’Equipe: “There are 12 matches left and now is not the time to discuss the future of Mathieu……It would be a total disrespect to Olympique de Marseille and the rest of his team-mates. He added: “Mathieu has much affection for l’OM, though clearly to be linked to clubs like Barcelona or Manchester United is very promising.”
Many fans may remember Valbuena for his man-of-the-match performance during France’s recent international against England at Wembley.