Antonio Valencia’s father hints over new challenge for the defender

The father of Antonio Valencia has said that the Ecuador international is expected to part ways with Manchester United when the current campaign comes to a close. The 33-year-old has been one of the club’s most consistent performers over the past decade but he has failed to replicate the same level of showing this term due to injuries and poor form.

Speaking to Ecuadorian newspaper El Universo, Valencia’s father confirmed that the defence is set to end his association with the Red Devils in the summer with the club having no plans of renewing his deal beyond the current season. He added that the right-sided defender could yet remain in the Premier League with Arsenal and West Ham United probable contenders to sign him.

He said: “He definitely will not continue in Manchester. He wants a change in the air and the club is not going to renew him either. Like everything in life, everything comes to an end. Arsenal, West Ham, Inter Milan and one club from China are options, but in football everything is changing. He wants to choose the best option, but above all, he wants to sign a contract for two years. Not for the money, but for peace and hopefully, he told me, hired by a team that fights for important things.”

Valencia would be turning 34 by the beginning of next season and that should pose concerns whether he can command a regular role with either Arsenal or West Ham United. Still, he could receive game time in the back-up role and it remains to be seen whether the above mentioned clubs turn their interest into contract offers when the season concludes.

The United club-captain has not featured since the 2-0 win over Newcastle United at the beginning of the year. During this period, the veteran has been struggling with successive calf problems but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has suggested that he could return to first-team training by the end of March.

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