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Solskjaer confirms Valencia set to leave Manchester United

6:14 PM GMT+8 01/03/2019
Antonio Valencia Manchester United 2018-19
The veteran full-back is due to become a free agent this summer and, according to the Norwegian, it is unlikely that he will be offered a new deal

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that Antonio Valencia's Manchester United exit is imminent, with Friday's 5pm GMT (12pm ET) deadline for the club to trigger a one-year contract extension fast approaching.

The 33-year-old has only featured in five Premier League games for the Red Devils this season, suffering from a loss of form and a string of niggling injury issues.

The United captain is not expected to return to action until the end of March, with his current deal set to expire at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.

Solskjaer insists he still hopes that Valencia can contribute on the pitch between now and May, but admitted it is unlikely that his services will be retained beyond the summer.

"He’s still not 100% fit, still working to get back fit and he’s had a fantastic career here at Manchester United and England," Solskjaer told a press conference on Friday.

"He is one of the Premier League winners left in the dressing room but I’m not sure if Manchester United and Antonio will agree on the next year so it depends if he gets back on the pitch in the next few months but he’s the captain, great servant to the club so hopefully I can get him on the pitch and show what he can do."

Valencia joined United from Wigan back in 2009 and has since managed to win two Premier League titles, the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Europa League.

The Ecuadorian star has racked up 338 appearances for the club and scored 25 goals, but since the start of the season he has found playing time hard to come by at Old Trafford.

Former United boss Jose Mourinho named Valencia as club captain last summer and he was expected to play a huge role for the team this year.

However, Ashley Young and Diogo Dalot quickly overtook him in the pecking order at right-back, before Mourinho was dismissed as first-team boss in December.

Solskjaer, who was appointed in his stead on a caretaker basis, allowed Valencia to keep the captain's armband, but he has only featured once for the club in 2019.

United are back in Premier League action on Saturday at home to Southampton and they will be looking to keep up the pressure on Arsenal in the race for a top-four finish.

Including Valencia, Solskjaer is set to be without up to eight senior players for the fixture, with a huge Champions League last-16 second-leg clash against Paris Saint-Germain on the horizon next week.