The next stage of Victor Valdes’ storied career will be at the Theater of Dreams.
Valdes, 32, has agreed to join Manchester United as a free agent, according to the BBC. The former Barcelona goalkeeper soon will sign an 18-month contract with the Red Devils and provide competition for entrenched starter David de Gea.
Valdes has been rehabbing and practicing with Manchester United since October, following his recovery from a devastating knee injury he suffered March 26. Barcelona released Valdes when his contract expired last summer, and he has been without a club since then.
Prior to his injury, Valdes already had decided to leave Barcelona after the 2013-14 season. Valdes spent his entire career with the Spanish giant, serving as first-choice goalkeeper since 2003-04. Valdes back-stopped Barcelona during its most glorious era, helping the club win 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.
Valdes now will reunite with manager Louis van Gaal at Manchester United. Van Gaal was Barcelona’s head coach when Valdes made his first-team debut in 2003 and currently is in his debut season in the Old Trafford dugout.
While De Gea, 24, currently is in stellar form, Valdes’ arrival (and influence) should push him to maintain peak sharpness. Valdes also will serve as a fall-back option for Manchester United should de Gea decline to extend his current contract, which expires in 2016.
Valdes’ signing also could pave the way for Anders Lindegaard, de Gea’s current backup, to leave Manchester United. Sam Johnstone, 21, and Ben Amos, 24, also are on Manchester United’s books as reserve players.
Photo via Twitter/@BBCSport
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