Not for the first time this season, Manchester United have been linked with a move for Valencia playmaker Sofiane Feghouli, who looks certain to leave the Mestalla for free this summer.
Unable to command a regular place in Gary Neville’s drain-circling Los Che side, the proliferation of rumours surrounding the Algerian’s move to Old Trafford would suggest the recruitment team at the Theatre of Dreams knows something the rest of us don’t.
After featuring regularly across the previous four campaigns, Feghouli’s finest hour in La Liga to date came last term, when he was anointed as the Spanish top-flight’s best player of African origin.
It came after he featured in 33 league matches, scoring six goals and setting up another half-dozen on top of that.
Unfortunately, this campaign has been much changed, with injuries and a drop in form restricting Feghouli to just nine starts, during which time he has found the net once and recorded a solitary assist.
Neville’s first league victory came in just the third match in which he started the French-born schemer who, despite his disappointing season so far, is still seen as a potential bargain by United and an array of European clubs.
One potential factor for their faith is that Valencia have, in recent years, proved itself one of the continent’s finest farms of playmaking talent.
They’ve first-hand experience of this themselves, with Juan Mata among the many attacking-midfielders schooled at the Mestalla.
Across town, Manchester City’s conjurer-in-chief David Silva spent ten years on the club’s books in some capacity, making 161 senior appearances along the way.
Pre-dating the pair was Argentine number ten Pablo Aimar, who turned out 204 times in Los Che white over a six-year association with the club.
A rich heritage such as this suggests Valencia’s smarts when it comes to spotting skilled locksmiths are especially commendable, so Feghouli for free can’t be too big a gamble.
His leading Premier League suitors, United, are on FA Cup duty this weekend, priced up at 17/50 to down League One’s Shrewsbury.