United lead race for Wigan winger Valencia

Manchester United are the overwhelming favourites to net Wigan Athletic's £16 million-rated Antonio Valencia.

The Ecuadorian was once a prime target for Real Madrid, but los Blancos' interest in the winger has cooled since Florentino Perez took over and brought back the 'Galactico' transfer policy.

With Kaka signed and Cristiano Ronaldo next on Madrid's shopping list, Valencia looks set to be making the short drive down the M61 to join the Premier League champions.

Valencia's agent Diego Herrera commented, "The only official offer from Real Madrid for Antonio was in January. The offer came from the previous president but Florentino is over there now so I don't know if they are going to go for him again."

Any lingering hope that Valencia might stay was effectively extinguished when boss Steve Bruce left for Sunderland.  Herrera added, "It is the right time for him to leave, now that the manager has left. He feels it is time to move on." 

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