Manchester United to swoop for Valencia duo David Silva and David Villa

David Silva has his audition at the Theatre of Dreams tonight as Sir Alex Ferguson ponders a £25million swoop for the Valencia star.

Ferguson has been tracking Silva all summer and will be eager to see how the Spanish playmaker performs in the friendly against Manchester United.

Despite making tentative enquiries about Silva, United have yet to make an official bid. The Reds have moved ahead of long-term admirers Liverpool after Rafa Benitez accused Valencia of making public their negotiations.

Unlike Liverpool, Fergie also has the cash to capture Silva with £80million from Cristiano Ronaldo's transfer to Real Madrid sitting in the club's bank account.

Valencia would find it hard to refuse a £25m offer for Silva because of their huge debts, although they are adamant that £40m-rated David Villa is not for sale.


Club president Manuel Lorente insists Villa will not be leaving the Mestalla, saying: "The club is not interested in selling this player. We have not received any formal offers and it is not in our plans to consider David Villa's exit."

Regardless of the outcome of Fergie's pursuit of Silva, Michael Carrick feels Michael Owen and Antonio Valencia have already plugged the gap left by Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. The Geordie was impressed by the new boys during United's Asia tour and the Audi Cup in Munich.

Owen has bagged four goals from five games, while Valencia netted on his debut in the win over Boca Juniors in Bavaria.

"Michael's already done really well," said Carrick.

"He's a top player and I'm sure he'll score lots of goals for us.

"Antonio joined us a little later for training so I've only seen a bit of him so far, but he's already shown what great qualities he has."

Carrick, 28, claims the clash with Valencia is precisely what United need now as they prepare for the big kick-off against Birmingham at home on Sunday week.

"Valencia are a top side," he said. "This will allow us to gauge where we're at and look at the things that need tweaking or working on ." Despite Carrick's optimism, United's pre-season plans have suffered a blow with the news that keeper Edwin Van der Sar will be out for two months with a broken hand.

The Dutchman had surgery yesterday after breaking two bones saving a penalty in the defeat to Bayern Munich in the Audi Cup last Thursday.

David Silva

Born: Jan 8 1986 CLUBS: Valencia 89 games, 13 goals. All comps: 118 games, 21 goals. Eibar (loan) 35 games, 5goals, Celta Vigo (loan) 34 4 goals. 26 games, 3 goals. seven-year contract June 2007.

David Villa

Born: Dec 3 1981 CLUBS: Sp Gijon 80 games, 38 goals, Zaragoza 73 games, 31 goals, Valencia 134 games, 86 goals.

All Comps: 167 games, 101 goals SPAIN: 49 games, 31 goals. Top scorer at Euro 2008 with four goals.

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