Valencia close to Manchester United deal

Manchester United are inching closer to making Antonio Valencia their first signing of the summer.

The Wigan winger has cut his summer break short to try and complete his move to Old Trafford.

And the £16m deal is expected to be confirmed this week as Sir Alex Ferguson begins the task of spending the world record £80m fee United have just banked for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo.

They hope Valencia, who scored just three Premier League goals last term, might be able to replicate the pace and dribbling ability of Ronaldo. However, getting anywhere near his goals output might be far more difficult, a factor emphasised at the JJB Stadium last month when the Ecuador flyer missed a sitter in the defeat to United.

Certainly most United fans - and probably Ferguson himself - would be disappointed if there were not further signings by September 1 given the problems he is juggling with.

As well as Ronaldo, the loss of Carlos Tevez, seemingly bound for rivals Manchester City, leaves another gap.

Karim Benzema has been touted as a potential replacement but has already given vibes he may prefer to go elsewhere, and even then in another year's time.

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is another option but the Dutchman is more of a Ruud van Nistelrooy-type figure and Ferguson has been building his teams in a different way of late.

At the back of Ferguson's mind will also be the knowledge Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar are all preparing for what is expected to be their final season of top-flight action, with Gary Neville not far behind.

Twelve months ago, United appeared to have the replacements in place but doubts have emerged over Nani, Anderson and Ben Foster, leaving Ferguson with more big decisions to make.

There are further question marks over midfielder Owen Hargreaves, who is hoping to return from two years wrecked by a tendinitis problem, and record signing Dimitar Berbatov, who was inconsistent in his debut season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
peopleComedian launches stinging attack on PM
Life and Style
The collection displayed Versace’s softer side, with models wearing flowers and chiffon dresses in unusual colourings
fashionVersace haute couture review
News
Andy Murray shakes hands after defeating Andreas Seppi of Italy in the third round of Wimbledon, Saturday 4 July, 2015
Wimbledon
Arts and Entertainment
'The Leaf'
artYes, it's a leaf, but a potentially very expensive one
News
Yoko Ono at the Royal Festival Hall for Double Fantasy Live
people'I wont let him destroy memory of John Lennon or The Beatles'
News
Could Greece leave the EU?
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'