Fran Villalba
Villalba reportedly being followed by both United and Barcelona. Getty

Phil Neville has rubbished claims his brother Gary has been urging Manchester United to sign Valencia starlet Fran Villalba.

Gary Neville's ill-fated spell in charge of Valencia came to an end last March but 18-year-old Villalba was one of a clutch of youngsters handed their first-team debut for the club during his reign. Despite the Spanish side's struggles this season – they currently sit 18th in La Liga – Villalba has not been called upon to help reverse their fortunes, having been frozen out of the first team.

There would appear to be uncertainty surrounding the 18-year-old's long-term future at the Mestalla, with Barcelona also monitoring his situation. A release clause of just €4m (£3.6m, $4.4m) for a player who is already drawing comparisons with Valencia youth product David Silva could also play a decisive role in his future.

Plaza Deportivo reports that while Barcelona may already have an agreement to pay that release clause, Gary Neville has recommended Jose Mourinho bring him to Old Trafford as soon as possible.

Phil Neville was part of his brother's coaching staff at Valencia, but in responding to Twitter user who suggested the source of the latest Villabla story was "fairly credible," he responded: "On this occasion he is far from credible I am afraid.".

Gary Neville took the managerial reins at Valencia in December 2015 but his spell in charge lasted less than four months. The 41-year-old won just three of just 17 league games in charge and 10 of 28 games in all competitions. Phil was kept on as part of the coaching staff until the end of the 2015-16 season before he was released in the summer.

Villbala's current contract at Valencia expires in June 2018.