We know, it’s only October, but we somehow have to try and avoid being shouted at by our superiors. With that in mind, we bring you the ‘news’ that Manchester United have been linked in today’s press with a move for Valencia’s teenage midfielder Fran Villalba, who you can see in the photograph above. Yes, he looks like a child. No, he’s 18 years old. Yes, you are old.
Villalba only made his first-team debut under Gary Neville last season, and is yet to feature in the current campaign. However, the 18-year-old Spanish youth international is believed to be very highly-regarded, so much so that United have reportedly been asking about his ‘situation’.
Quoted in the Daily Mail, agent Vicente Flores — when asked whether United had been in touch regarding his client — replied:
'With me. Just a contact to know his situation. They're already aware.
'I don't know about Valencia. But I reckon they will make it hard.'
Pressed on whether he expected United to make a concrete bid for the youngster, he said: 'We've just started talking. It's up to United.'
So, not really too much to go on here then. And there’s always reason to be suspicious when an agent has been talking up the interest in their player. With Villalba likely to play an increasingly important role in the Valencia team in the coming months, he’d be expected to request an improved contract.
In this instance, United’s ‘interest’ is likely to be just part of the courting strategy. Don’t expect too much more on this rumour in the immediate future.