Antonio Valencia has been one of the few remaining players since the Sir Alex Ferguson days, and he will be completing a decade at Old Trafford this June.
The Ecuadorian has suffered a difficult period since the start of the season. He was constantly criticized by Jose Mourinho, who dropped him from the starting XI, and went with Ashley Young on the right flank.
With regular football off the table, Antonio Valencia became a namesake captain for Manchester United, while the armband was passed around the senior members of the squad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival hasn’t changed things much, as the 33-year-old has made only one appearance since. Earlier this week, the Norwegian gaffer revealed that Valencia is suffering from a recurrence of a calf strain, and will be missing the next couple of games.
Valencia’s current contract is set to expire at the end of this season, and Manchester United are yet to offer him a new deal or activate the extension clause in his current deal, despite the clock running down so quickly.
Now, according to a new report in the Metro, the club must trigger the one-year extension clause before Saturday, and failure to do so will allow Antonio Valencia to leave Old Trafford for free in July.
It remains to be seen whether the Red Devils decide to hold on to Valencia, especially considering the arrival of Diogo Dalot from Porto earlier in the summer.
The Portuguese defender needs some time to reach his full potential, but he could be a United mainstay for a long period. Until then, the youngster is expected to share the right-back position with Ashley Young, who has signed a new contract this season.
Manchester United might also choose to extend Valencia’s contract soon, but only sell him at the end of this season, as they look to accumulate funds for a squad overhaul once the transfer window opens in June.