By Editor Wayne Veysey | Former Evening Standard, Press Association and Goal chief correspondent with 17 years experience of breaking big stories, including exclusives like this
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Manchester United are ready to listen to offers for Antonio Valencia at the end of the season, Football Insider sources understand.
The versatile 30-year-old will have just one year remaining on his contract in the summer and the club have not yet approached him about an extension.
A source close to the situation has told Football Insider that United are prepared to offload one of the club’s longest-serving players and have already begun looking at replacements, including West Ham flyer Michail Antonio.
Valencia joined United from Wigan for £16million in 2009 and has played 235 matches for the club under three different managers.
The Ecuador international is no longer the flying winger he was under Sir Alex Ferguson and has been used predominantly on the right side of defence under Louis van Gaal.
Valencia, who turns 31 in August, has not played since 25 October after undergoing foot surgery although he is back in full training and is a close to a return.
He is behind first-choice right-back Matteo Darmian in the pecking order, while Guillermo Varela has also impressed in recent weeks during the Italian’s absence with a shoulder injury.
With the likes of Juan Mata, Memphis Depay, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard offering greater attacking threat in a more forward role, Valencia could find himself on the fringes for the rest of the season.
As revealed by Football Insider, United are keeping close tabs on West Ham star Antonio, who scored for the third consecutive Premier League game on Saturday as the Hammers came from 2-0 down to secure a remarkable 3-2 win at Everton.
The 25-year-old has now scored five goals in his last eight matches, and 11 in total this season, four of which came when he was still at Nottingham Forest last August.