Ole Gunnar Solskjær has hinted Antonio Valencia’s Manchester United career is over after 10 years, with his contract’s one-year extension not expected to be triggered by its 5pm deadline on Friday.
Valencia became club captain in the summer but has suffered an injury-blighted campaign, managing only one league start in the past five months. The defender has made 338 appearances for United since Sir Alex Ferguson signed him from Wigan Athletic in June 2009.
If United do not trigger the clause they could still offer a fresh deal to Valencia, whose contract expires this summer, but Solskjær suggested this was unlikely.
“He’s still not 100% fit, he is still working to get back fit and he’s had a fantastic career here at Man United and in England,” the interim manager said. “He is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room but at the moment I’m not sure if Man United and Antonio will agree on the next year.
“So it depends if he gets back on the pitch as well in the next few months but he’s the captain, a great servant to the club. So hopefully I can get him on the pitch and show what he can do, or he can get himself 100% fit and back on the pitch.”
David de Gea’s terms expire in summer 2020 and talks are continuing regarding a fresh long-term deal for the goalkeeper.
“The club and David are in dialogue,” Solskjær said. “Hopefully they agree. It’s out of my hands but I’m sure we’ll do what we can.”
Solskjær suggested that Anthony Martial had only an outside chance of being available for Saturday’s visit of Southampton after a groin problem. “It might just be a few more days before he’s ready,” he said.
Marcus Rashford is set to start following an ankle injury. “He still felt it Wednesday night but he’ll be ready – I’ll probably start him,” Solskjær said.