Liverpool and Manchester United will have to break the bank to prise David Villa away from Valencia, after boss Unai Emery described the Spain striker as “priceless”.
Villa’s future at Valencia had been in doubt with reports that his club may be forced to cash in on their prized asset due to financial difficulties.
Rafa Benitez is believed to be keen on using money gained from the expected sale of Xabi Alonso to Real Madrid to link Villa up with his Spanish international colleague, Fernando Torres.
United are also monitoring the situation and though Sir Alex Ferguson stated that his summer spending is over, with £80million burning a hole in his pocket after Madrid swooped for Cristiano Ronaldo, he would surely open up his chequebook if Villa was to become available.
However, Emery has claimed that Valencia don’t need to sell and reiterated that Villa is committed to staying put.
Emery said: “Valencia want to keep David, but he also wants to stay with us. We don't want to sell him because he is priceless. Barcelona and Real Madrid have already shown an interest in him but David decided to come back to us.
“That was an unbelievable feeling for the club and we don't believe he will change (for Liverpool or Manchester United).”
Meanwhile, Manchester City are set to complete their move for Joleon Lescott.
The Everton defender is expected to hand in a transfer request in a bid to prompt a £20m switch to Eastlands.
City have already had two bids turned down by the Merseyside club.
But it is understood that Lescott is in the process of formally writing to Everton chairman Bill Kenwright to make it clear that he wants to leave, even if it means waiving his rights to a pay-off.