Man Utd could trigger release clause for Antonio Valencia replacement

Manchester United are considering triggering the £44m release clause of Napoli defender Elseid Hysaj, with manager Jose Mourinho said to be signing the Albanian full-back as a long-term replacement for Antonio Valencia.

Hysaj is one of the best performing right-backs over the last two seasons and could be on his way to Old Trafford after the Red Devils caught wind of his affordable asking price.

Valencia has been first-choice at right-back under Mourinho, but he turns 33 in August and will be out of contract with United next year. Matteo Darmian, who is backup to Valencia, could leave the club for Juventus this summer. United need a new face brought in.

The Red Devils boast academy graduates who can slot into the right-back position – Timothy Fosu-Mensah and Axel Tuanzebe – but Mourinho is more likely to opt for a tried-and-tested player as he bids to win the Premier League title in his third season at Old Trafford.

United finished second in the division with 81 points from their 38 games, 19 adrift of champions Manchester City who cruised towards the title with 100 points.

With this in mind, the former Chelsea and Real Madrid boss is keen to bridge the gap between their cross-town rivals and strengthen the defence heavily as their backline has been found wanting at times. Hysaj could be one of many signed this summer.

The Manchester giants lost this season’s FA Cup final against Chelsea on Saturday which will further motivate them to bolster the squad to win silverware in 2018/19.

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Bertrand Francois

Bertrand Francois is the editor of Football Weeks. An experienced online and print journalist, Jamie has worked for IRAIW, Arsenal Presser, Soccerlens and countless other media sources over the years. He is from Republic Du Benin and lives in the busiest town Cotonou. - Facebook and Twitter