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12th Jan 2019

Antonio Valencia set for Serie A as four Man United contracts expire in summer

Reuben Pinder

His contract is up at the end of the season.

Manchester United look set to lose club captain Antonio Valencia on a free transfer this summer, as Serie A giants Inter Milan prepare to offer him a contract.

Inter have also been linked with Ashley Young as they look to strengthen in wide areas, but the Mirror are reporting that Valencia’s advisers have already started negotiating with Inter Milan after they were informed that United have no plans of exercising the option to extend his contract by a year.

United can wait until March to decide whether to keep Valencia on for an additional 12 months, but are aware that the right-back is assessing his options.

Valencia joined United from Wigan Athletic in 2009 as one of three players who came in that summer to replace Cristiano Ronaldo. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho and now Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Ecuador international has been an excellent servant to the club, but his time with the club appears to have run its course.

Inter are reportedly keen to sign him in this January transfer window, but United would prefer to hold onto him until the summer, when they will have more time to find a replacement.

Diogo Dalot signed from Porto last summer and has shown promise in the limited opportunities he has had at United so far, and will likely step into Valencia’s shoes at right-back unless United land a big name replacement.

As for where the captain’s armband goes in the event of Valencia’s departure, the most likely scenario is that Ashley Young is made club captain but Paul Pogba wears it most weeks, with Young not necessarily an automatic starter.

Other United players with limited time remaining on their contracts include Juan Mata, Ander Herrera and Ashley Young, who are are all six months away from being free agents.

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