Premier League giants Manchester United have opened talks with Valencia’s 18-year-old midfielder Fran Villalba, according to the teenager’s agent.

 

In an interview with Sport Witness (h/t The Independent), Vicente Flores, the agent of Fran Villalba, has claimed that Manchester United have made initial contact over the signing of his client from Valencia.

When asked whether contact had been made with him or Valencia, Flores said: “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.”

The agent was then asked about the likelihood of receiving a bid from English side Manchester United. He said: “We’ve just started talking. It’s up to United.”

The Old Trafford outfit were in the market for the 18-year-old for a while, but have recently stepped up their interest for him. He is understood to have a buy-out clause of £3.4 million at the Mestalla, which looks to be a bargain given his potential. Villalba made his debut for the senior team in December 2015, when former United defender Gary Neville was in charge of Los Che.

Valencia's midfielder Fran Villalba (L) vies with PSV Eindhoven's Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Pereiro during the friendly football match Valencia CF vs PSV Eindhoven at Luis Suner Pico stadium in Valencia on July 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE JORDAN (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Valencia’s midfielder Fran Villalba (L) vies with PSV Eindhoven’s Uruguayan midfielder Gaston Pereiro during the friendly football match Valencia CF vs PSV Eindhoven at Luis Suner Pico stadium in Valencia on July 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ JOSE JORDAN (Photo by JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

According to the Daily Mail, the young Spanish midfielder has been the subject of transfer speculation since the summer of 2014. It is reported that Liverpool were in the market for the then 16-year-old, but Valencia rejected an initial approach made by the Reds. Barcelona are also understood to be keeping tabs on the young midfielder.

If Jose Mourinho is to get his man, he will have to act quickly. With the player’s progress, he is likely to attract the interest of many top European sides. Also with Michael Carrick nearing the end of his career, the Old Trafford veteran can take the youngster under his wing and help him make strides in the right direction towards regular first-team football.

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