Football

Valencia keen on cleverley

Valencia have reportedly made an offer for Manchester United's out-of-favour midfielder Tom Cleverley and intend to rival Aston Villa and Hull City for his signature.

United reportedly had accepted an £8 million ($16.6m) offer from Aston Villa for Cleverley on Friday, but the La Liga side are hoping to lure him to Spain.

The 25-year-old midfielder (above) has been linked away from Old Trafford for much of the summer, but his sale seems a near certainty now after he was not even named as a substitute against Burnley last night.

If United deem Valencia's offer acceptable, he will be free to choose between a move to Spain or staying in England.

Cleverley has a certain amount to prove after a series of under-par performances since breaking through at Old Trafford.

He has made 44 league appearances over the past two seasons, but appears to have regressed under the pressure of representing United rather than progressed.

Valencia are reinforcing their squad with the expected takeover of Singapore billionaire Peter Lim in the coming weeks and they obviously think that Cleverley can help them challenge for a Champions League spot.

They certainly did their chances no harm by going top of La Liga with a 3-0 win over 10-man Malaga yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Valencia's Paco Alcacer capped a memorable day after he was named in the Spain squad for the first time by coach Vicente del Bosque by scoring the opening goal.

Dani Parejo and Pablo Piatti also found the target as they took full advantage of the first-half dismissal of Malaga's Sergi Darder.

SPECIAL

"It was special to be called up and I was like a kid celebrating. Then, on top of that, it has finished with me scoring a goal," said Alcacer at the Mestalla.

"It is important for me to keep my feet on the ground and work hard each day in training.

"I am only 21 years old and I still have a lot to improve on if I want to do well in the national team.

"Our (Valencia's) objective this season is to be strong at home and we are a team that have players with a lot of quality who have combined well together."

Valencia coach Nuno Espirito Santo said that his side deserved the victory.

"We were the better team even before they had (Sergi Darder) sent off," Santo said.

"The game was divided in that sense, but we controlled things well. I want to congratulate my players, but we have to keep working to adapt to my methods. It'll take time but this is a good start." 


- Wire Services.