Valencia 'looking forward' to Van Gaal after signing new 3-year deal

Antonio Valencia has extended his stay at Manchester United until 2018.

He was recently linked with a shock move to Liverpool but it now seems as though Manchester United have secured the long-term future of their Ecuadorean winger Antonio Valencia. The flying wide man has not been in sensational form for the last 18 months or so, but it seems as though United are not willing to give up on him just yet after he signed a three-year extension to his current deal - which expired in 2015.

Manchester United announced the news on their official Twitter feed earlier today:

In a statement, assistant manager Ryan Giggs said of the deal:

"I'm really pleased Antonio has signed a new contract. His contribution to the team since he joined the club in 2009 has been fantastic. Antonio is a very powerful player with great speed and versatility. He is very professional in his approach to training and I am delighted he has committed his future to the club."

And Valencia himself has released a statement today. The 28-year-old, who is currently away on international duty with Ecuador in Brazil, signed for the club from Wigan Athletic in 2009 and he seems pleased at potentially taking his association with the club to the nine year mark in 2018.

He also mentioned his excitement at a future working relationship with Louis van Gaal:

"My time at Manchester United has been like a dream come true. To be the first Ecuadorian player to win the English Premier League was a very proud moment for me and for my country. I am so happy to have signed a new deal and am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal. There is great team spirit within the club and we are all determined to get back to winning ways."

Van Gaal, who is currently working with the Dutch national team in Brazil, would have undoubtedly played a role in the decision making process - but it is not yet known just how big a role that was.

Valencia will have to hope LvG is as big a fan of his talents as Giggs - while he will also have to find some of his best form again, if he is to live up to his new deal.

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