Fran Villalba’s agent, Vicente Fores, has confirmed Manchester United have made contact with the youngster over a potential deal.
It was reported earlier this week that Jose Mourinho was keen on bringing the 18-year-old to Manchester.
Villalba, who came through Valencia’s academy, made his senior debut for Los Che on New Year’s Eve last year under Gary Neville, but hasn’t featured for the first-team since.
Speaking to Sport Witness, Fores revealed talks had begun between the two parties over a possible transfer.
“With me [contact has been made]. Just a contact to know his situation. They’re already aware,” he said.
“I don’t know about Valencia. But I reckon they will make it hard. We’ve just started talking. It’s up to United.”
The first thing that springs to mind when watching Villalba is his height. At 5ft 6, with a strangely lanky, boyish figure, the Spaniard can often be physically overshadowed by his opponents.
At the same time, however, Villalba also bears the shape of your quintessential modern Spanish midfielder: diminutive, devastatingly sharp on the ball, and seemingly always aware of what surrounds him. Like many established Spanish midfielders before him (Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Juan Mata, to name a few), Villalba has grown up with an inbuilt requirement to prioritise technique and vision, as opposed to muscle and power.
He is, even at such a young age, a remarkably intelligent footballer, and Man United fans will be curious to see how he fares in England’s notoriously physical climate.