Valdes hoping to stake United claim
Victor Valdes has yet to be told whether he will be handed the chance to replace David de Gea as Manchester United's first-choice goalkeeper if the current Old Trafford No 1 leaves for Real Madrid this summer.
With De Gea battling to overcome a hamstring strain in time to face Hull City at the KC Stadium on Sunday, Valdes is in line to make his first start for United against Steve Bruce's team, having made his debut as a substitute during the 1-1 draw against Arsenal.
But despite the increasing expectation that De Gea will pursue a summer move to Real, Valdes is in the dark about his prospects next season.
United manager Louis van Gaal admitted last Friday that the club had already identified potential replacements for De Gea should the 24-year-old reject the offer of a new £200,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford.
Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Chelsea's Petr Cech are understood to be leading contenders to succeed De Gea due to their proven record in the Premier League.
Valdes has not been given the chance to prove himself to Van Gaal since signing an 18-month deal at the club in January after undergoing rehabilitation at Old Trafford to overcome a cruciate ligament injury sustained playing for Barcelona last March.
The 33-year-old was told on his arrival at United that he would act as cover for De Gea, but is now hoping to stake his claim to the goalkeeper jersey against Hull.
United captain Wayne Rooney is expected to return after missing the Arsenal game with a dead leg.
Meanwhile, Sam Allardyce's West Ham United exit is expected to be confirmed next Monday, with former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez now the favourite to replace him.
(© Daily Telegraph, London)