Manchester United’s Antonio Valencia resigned to summer exit – sources

Antonio Valencia, Clubs, Manchester United, Story
ESPN FC’s Shaka Hislop and Craig Burley cannot praise Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enough for how well he’s man-managing players after their midweek win over Crystal Palace.

Antonio Valencia is resigned to leaving Manchester United in the summer after the club decided against triggering a one-year extension option in his contract, sources have told ESPN FC.

United had until 5 p.m. on Friday (March 1) to inform Valencia — still club captain at Old Trafford — that his deal had been extended until 2020, but the deadline was allowed to pass without the 33-year-old receiving notification.

United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told a news conference earlier on Friday that Valencia could earn a new contract if he could regain full fitness after spending the past two months recovering from a calf injury.

However, sources have told ESPN FC that the Ecuadorian expects to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season. He is not thinking about retiring and will consider his options before deciding his next move.

Valencia, who has been restricted to just eight appearances this season, has been at Old Trafford for 10 years since arriving in a £16 million move from Wigan in 2009.

He will be entitled to a testimonial in the summer, but scheduling a tribute game would be complicated by his departure.

Valencia is closing in on 350 appearances for United and has won six major honours, including the Premier League title in 2011 and 2013.

He featured in 31 of United’s 38 league games last season as Jose Mourinho’s team finished second behind Manchester City, but injury problems have seen him lose his place at right-back to Ashley Young.

Long-term replacement Diogo Dalot, 19, was signed from Porto in the summer.

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