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Bruce ready for Valencia exit
20 May 2009 - 13:54:46
Wigan Athletic manager Steve Bruce has admitted that star winger Luis Antonio Valencia is certain to leave the club this summer.
The 23-year-old Ecuador international has been linked with the likes of Manchester United and Real Madrid and Bruce accepts that the South American will be playing his football elsewhere next season.
He told the Evening Post: "It's inevitable that the lad will be leaving in the summer as there are clubs queuing up, jostling for position.
"I won't lie to fans about that. Of course I would love to keep him, but it's going to be impossible for that to happen.
"I'm not sure how far things have gone yet, but there have been phone calls and people asking to be kept informed.
"I leave that side of things to the powers-that-be, but to be fair to (chief executive) Brenda Spencer and (general manager) John Benson, they always respect my decision on things like this.
"Where Antonio will end up, I really couldn't say.
"I have only worked with the kid for 18 months, but he has got a special talent. He's a very good player.
"He can only get better. I think he's got all the traits of a modern top footballer - he's powerful, has plenty of pace and puts a shift in.
"He's a tough lad and has age on his side. He doesn't turn 24 until the summer."