Antonio Valencia is set to end his decade-spanning stay at Manchester United when his contract expires in the summer – with Inter ready to swoop.
The 33-year-old remains United’s club captain but will see his current deal expire at the end of the season. The Ecuadorian full back has been a generally consistent performer since arriving at Old Trafford from Wigan in 2009.
However, Valencia has made just five Premier League appearances for the Red Devils this term, with United apparently having no plans to offer their captain a new deal. According to the Mirror, the veteran wideman is already in negotiations over a summer move to Inter.
It is said that the right back’s advisers have been informed that he is unlikely to have his deal extended by a further 12 months and have therefore begun discussions with the Serie A giants over a potential switch to the San Siro.
United apparently have until March to change their minds and offer Valencia fresh terms, though the club are said to be aware that their captain has already started to weigh up his options ahead of a potential summer exit.
It is said that Inter are keen to secure a deal for Valencia during this month’s transfer window, with current right back Sime Vrsaljko only on loan from Atletico Madrid until the end of the season, leaving Inter in need of a long-term replacement in his position.
Though there is an option to buy inserted in Vrsaljko’s loan deal at the San Siro, Valencia’s potential availability as a free agent in the summer is likely to make the United star an appealing option, should Inter be unable to lure Valencia to Serie A this month.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and @Mike_Phelan_1 have reflected on the Reds’ time in the Middle East… ☀️
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 11, 2019
United may be unwilling to sanction the sale of Valencia during the current transfer window, at the risk of weakening the ranks of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side.
However, the opportunity to move Valencia on a free transfer at the end of the season could prove more feasible for both sides.
Inter have been successful in conducting similar deals previously, with Stefan de Vrij having moved to the San Siro on a free this season, whilst a similar agreement is said to be virtually in place for Atletico Madrid star Diego Godin.