According to several media outlets across Europe, Manchester United are planning to offload winger Antonio Valencia at the end of the current season.
Valencia was arguably the Red Devils’ best player last season and was thus, even handed the iconic No 7 shirt, worn by the likes of David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo in the past. His pace and creativity tormented the oppositions’ full-backs, but this term, things have been quite different.
Maybe due to the immense pressure or change in United’s style of play, Valencia has struggled to produce the required goods.
The 27-year-old rarely beats his marker in one-on-one situations and his crossing accuracy has been equally atrocious. Valencia is yet to score even once in the league this campaign and with the inevitable arrival of Wilfried Zaha in the summer, United can be expected to dump one of their current three wingers.
While it looks unlikely that Ashley Young will be offloaded just after two seasons, Sir Alex Ferguson will probably look to cash in on either of Luis Nani or Valencia. Nani has looked impressive since his return from a relatively lengthy layoff and the Portuguese is even reportedly keen on renewing his current contract at United.
Thus, in this case, Valencia could be the man to see the boot.
In addition to that, another reason why United could be tempted to sell their misfiring Ecuadorian’s is that the champions-elect need to balance their books in the off-season.
The hefty transfer price and massive wages for former Arsenal captain Robin van Persie have taken a toll on United’s finances.
A source close to United told Goal, "Sir Alex and the club made it abundantly clear they would go that extra yard for Robin. United knew the numbers involved but saw it as a real signal of intent going forward. “A couple of other targets had to slide as a result, certainly Lucas Moura, when Paris Saint-Germain made their interest known in the boy. "Those figures were just crazy. Wilfried Zaha is a sound investment due to the relatively low money involved. Sir Alex knows he will have to be even cuter this summer as a result of Robin now being on our wage bill."
Therefore, it looks prominent that Fergie will plan a fire-sale and if Valencia doesn’t improve upon his outputs, the former Wigan Athletic star could be the first one to leave.