By 90Min
November 15, 2018

Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has insisted he has been left out of the team for 'tactical reasons', as he opened up on relationship with manager Jose Mourinho.

The United veteran, now in his ninth season with the club, has been out of action since the Champions League 0-0 draw with Valencia back on 2 October. 

Rumours suggest the reason for Valencia recent conspicuous absence from the first team was simple Instagram like, which set off Mourinho and landed the Ecuadorian on the bench, with Ashley Young taking over his position and the captaincy. 

This week, however, Valencia, who has also missed time due to mouth surgery and a knee issue, has re-joined Ecuador for the international break as they get ready to take on Peru Thursday night. 

With rumours swirling about the Mourinho-Valencia relationship being unfixable, and the 33-year-old looking to leave in January, he was quick to shoot down any speculation with Ecuador's Area Deportivo radio. 

“The relationship with Mourinho has always been a good one,” Valencia said. “Right now I haven’t been playing, but it’s more of a tactical decision. The player who has been in my place (Young) has been playing well. You have to respect the decision.

“The only thing I can do is prepare and be ready for when he (Mourinho) needs me and be in the right condition to compete. I’m calm right now and I know I’ll get an opportunity to play again.”

Recently, word has also spread United are hoping to sign Valencia to a new 12-month contract, which would have him at the club until 2020. 

The full back's current deal is set to expire this summer, but he made it clear he has no desire to leave the squad he joined from Wigan back in 2009 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

“First of all I have to thank Manchester United for being interested in having me for another year,” Valencia added. “I’m happy with the team and working hard. During these 10 years we’ve competed and played important matches. I’m happy here and hopeful we can keep playing in big games and at a high level.”

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