Date: 8th June 2009 at 2:42pm
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According to press reports, Manchester United and Real Madrid both made bids for Wigan’s Antonio Valencia. Little surprise, this: the clubs’ interest has been known for months now.

However, the story is that Madrid are ready to match the asking price (strange, considering that they apparently still want Ronaldo and Ribery) while United are hesitating because Valencia’s performance in the second half of the season was distinctly mediocre, thus making the quoted 16m price look exorbitant.

The real question is, though, do we need him? As I had indicated United definitely need a classy wide man. But is that man Antonio Valencia? He’s got all the attributes I’d be looking for: pace, power, technique, good dribbling, good crossing – there’s no problem on that front.

However, our very own Nani has these abilities, too. Yet he just had a miserable season where nothing went right for him, nothing. Is Valencia any brighter, more intelligent, more consistent? The fact that he was brilliant in the first half of the season and average in the second indicates that he’s not that much different to Nani…

If we do sign him, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt – but as almost every Red, I would welcome Franck Ribery or David Silva with much more honest joy. Shame that these signings look very unlikely at the present time…