When Victor Valdes said playing for AS Monaco was a “good option” earlier this week, he wasn’t just being polite.
Valdes, FC Barcelona’s longtime starting goalkeeper, will likely join Monaco on a free transfer after the 2013-14 season, according to Football Espana.
“Radio Catalunya [Thursday] suggest that Valdes has already made clear his decision is to sign with the principality outfit and, described at 99 percent decided, could announce his intention during January,” the report says.
Spanish newspaper AS claims Valdes will sign a contract, which expires in 2018, in early January.
“Rac 1 Radio claimed on Thursday that the goalkeeper will sign a four-year contract with French Riviera-based outfit during the winter inscription period,” the report says.
Valdes has been Barcelona’s first-choice goalkeeper since the 2003-04 season. He has played an important role in the last decade, as Barcelona has enjoyed its most glorious era in its 114-year history. With Valdes in goal, Barcelona has won 21 major trophies, including six La Liga (Spanish first division), two Copa Del Rey (Spanish Cup), three UEFA Champions League and two FIFA Club World Cup titles. Valdes also played a role in Spain’s triumphs at the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2012 UEFA European Championship.
The 31-year-old has decided to leave Barcelona when his contract expires at the end of the season. Barcelona wants him to sign an extension, but he has made it clear that he will leave his boyhood club after this season. In early October, he said he wants a new challenge and would entertain offers from abroad. He can sign a pre-contract with a new team as early as Jan. 1, despite having six months left on his existing deal with Barcelona.
Last season, reports linked Valdes with a potential move to Arsenal, but it appears he is set on joining Monaco — one of Europe’s most cash-rich and ambitious teams. Monaco currently leads Ligue 1 (French first division) after recruiting a handful of stars last summer. It hopes to earn a spot in next season’s Champions League and compete for the game’s biggest prizes in the years to come.
Danijel Subasic is Monaco’s starting goalkeeper. The Croatian stopper helped the club achieve promotion from Ligue 2 last season and has manned the goal in the early part of the current campaign. Should Valdes arrives next summer, it’s unlikely that Subasic would keep his starting spot, as Monaco owner Dmitry Rybolovlev is keen on fielding a star-studded team — “The Galacticos of the French Riviera.”
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Photo via Facebook/FC Barcelona