Manchester United are interested in signing Valencia teenager Fran Villalba, according to local Valencia newspaper El Desmarque.
The report suggests United are ready to challenge Barcelona for the 18-year-old midfielder’s signature, who has a release clause of just €4m in his contract with Valencia.
Villalba is believed to be keen to establish himself in Valencia’s first team, but could be forced to leave if he doesn’t get a chance to impress Cesare Prandelli soon.
The talented midfielder signed a new six-year contract with the club last December, but his low release clause could make him a key target for many clubs.
Even though Villalba seems eager to play first-team football as soon as possible, neither Barcelona nor Manchester United would be able to offer him an immediate route to their senior squads.
Even though United lack creativity through the middle, Jose Mourinho is unlikely to pick an 18-year-old who’s yet to play first-team football this season as the man to make United’s attacking play more inventive and unpredictable.
That being said, United would still be able to offer Villalba a short route to first-team football, provided he establishes himself in the club’s reserve team.
The teenager could decide to stay in Spanish football, but if decides to leave Valencia, United would be the better option. He’d have a much more difficult task in breaking through Barcelona’s first team, given the midfielders Luis Enrique has at his disposal at the moment.