Valencia must sign a replacement for Edu after the Brazilian midfielder suffered a knee injury which will keep him out of action for six months, coach Quique Sanchez Flores said.

“It is an absolute priority to find a substitute for Edu,” Sanchez Flores told Marca on Monday.

“His injury has been a major setback. Edu and (Ruben) Baraja are the two players that give us direction in midfield.”

The 27-year-old Brazilian, who joined from Arsenal during the close season, will be out for around six months after tearing the cruciate ligament in his left knee during training on Saturday.

“It is vital that we start the season with a player we can be confident of in that position,” Sanchez Flores said.

“We don’t have a player in the squad at present that has the same qualities and profile to replace Edu.”