Man Utd target Fran Villalba is raw but Wizard of Cabanal worth a punt at £3.6m

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Manchester United have initiated conversations with a view to signing Valencia starlet Fran Villalba, according to the player’s agent.

The 18-year-old made his Valencia debut under Gary Neville in the Copa Del Rey, during the Sky Sports pundit’s disappointing stint as the La Liga club’s manager last season, and now Jose Mourinho’s side have made contact, report the Manchester Evening News.

Villalba has been featuring for Valencia’s B team this term and has a £3.6million release clause in his contract, according to the Daily Mail.

His agent Vicente Fores, told Sport Witness: “With me [contact has been made]. Just a contact to know his situation. They’re already aware.

“I don’t know about Valencia. But I reckon they will make it hard. We’ve just started talking. It’s up to United.”

What sort of midfielder is Manchester United target Fran Villalba?

Villalba has wonderful ability, vision and balance. In ways, he is evocative of Andreas Iniesta and Isco, but not identical.

Impressing in the Valencia B team and the UEFA Youth League team, Villalba, who has been nicknamed The Wizard of Cabanal, often plays with 10 on his back. The players around Villalba feed him the ball because he offers solutions.

This is a very good player but one with raw potential and inexperience. It would be advisable to keep our feet on the ground to avoid overexcitement or expectations that may be impossible to meet down the line.

Valencia claimed victory when Villalba made his debut under Neville in December, and his debut start was in the Copa Del Rey winning away to Granada. He also played the second leg of Valencia’s semi-final against Barcelona which finished 1-1.

Another viewpoint to consider is how Mourinho’s agent, Jorge Mendes, aided Peter Lim’s takeover of Valencia in 2014 and has imposed his influence quickly at the Mestalla, overseeing the transfers of several players he represents.

Villalba is a player worth keeping an eye on regardless of what happens on the transfer front.

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