By Will Butcher
Manchester United have extended Antonio Valencia’s contract for a further 12 months after triggering a clause in his current Old Trafford deal.
Man United confirmed that the 31-year-old has been handed a one-year extension on their official website, with his previous deal set to expire in less than six months time.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 17, 2017
The versatile Ecuador international, who can play at right-back or on the right side of midfield, has been a permanent fixture of Jose Mourinho’s starting eleven since the Portuguese boss took control.
With his old deal set to run out in less than six months time, United moved to extend the deal by activating a clause that will see him stay until the summer of 2018.
Since his move to United in June 2009 from Wigan Athletic, Valencia has gone on to make 271 appearances in all competitions.
Scoring 21 goals, United’s number 25 has also provided an impressive 59 assists for the Premier League giants and is now set to add to that number with a prolonged stay in Mourinho’s side.
Football Insider verdict:
Tying Valencia down to a further year is a brilliant bit of business by Mourinho and the hierarchy at Old Trafford. Known for his explosive pace and ability to whip a dangerous ball into the opposition penalty area, Valencia has become one of United’s unsung heroes in recent years as he continues to star on the right side of defence. With young stars such as Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba all looking to catch the eye under Mourinho, experienced heads like Valencia are vital to maintaining a balanced squad and this deal could prove crucial in United’s run-in to securing Champions League football next season.
In other Man United news, this senior figure got 2/10 from Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool.