Friday afternoon in the Tavern is like the calm before the weekend footballing storm, and what better way to bring the sweet sound of laughter from all corners of the establishment than one of our much loved crazy rumours, and this afternoon we have an absolutely cracker for you.
It appears that Serie A side Udinese are going to offer £6million for Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia who has been injured for most of the season.
Considering that Sir Alex Ferguson paid more than double that to bring him to Old Trafford I cannot help but feel that the Italian club are being somewhat hopeful with this offer.
Valencia began his playing career with Quito based club El Nacional, he enjoyed a succesful spell there before moving to Villareal in La Liga, he struggled to break through into the first team and was loaned to Recreativo in the Spanish second division, and then the following season he was loaned to Wigan Athletic before joining them on a permanent basis a year later for a fee thought to be around £5million.
Under manager Steve Bruce it was reported that Valencia turned down a move to Real Madrid prefering to stay in England with Wigan. However, he wasn’t to stay at Wigan for much longer he moved to Manchester United at the start of the 2009-2010 season in a deal worth £16million. He had a good first season with the Old Trafford outfit and sadly for club and player he broke his ankle early in the current campaign and has been out of action since.
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Valencia is an extremely talented winger and capable of playing on either flank, ideally on the right. Valencia is quick, a good dribbler, and is capable of some excellent crosses from wide areas. He works hard and can be a real creative talent for a side when he is on song.
His form when fit for Manchester United has been excellent, and with Nani finally showing signs that he is developing into a top quality player there is the possiblity that the Old Trafford side could have a potent set of wingers on their books. However according to Italian website ItaSportPress Udinese are ready to offer £6million for the player in an attempt to convince Ferguson to sell.
Where to start with this one then? Firstly I see no reason why the Manchester United management would choose to sell the player, he performed well last season and despite his injury this year there is nothing to say that upon return he won’t be able to play at the level he was at before. Recent comments from Sir Alex demonstrate that he still views him as a good asset, when questioned about his return to action the Scot said:
“It is difficult to assess Antonio Valencia because he is doing very well, he is in contact training now….He has been taking part in all the sessions, so it is just that decision to play him in terms of his own confidence after such a long time out. It could be two weeks. We are hopeful.”
Secondly, why would United chose to accept such a low offer for the player, he is contracted until 2013 so there is no issue there, it would signify a massive loss on the player who should soon be entering his prime. Unless there are long term doubts over the players fitness levels caused by his recent injury I see no reason why the club would sell him. If Udinese were to come back with a higher bid, maybe a deal could be done, but for £6million? Surely not!
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