• Primera Liga

Valdes to see out Barcelona contract

ESPN staff
June 1, 2013

Reported Arsenal target Victor Valdes has signalled his intention to remain at Barcelona for another 12 months before moving on next summer.

Valdes, 31, had been quiet since January, when his decision not to renew was made public. He has since been linked with a move to Arsenal, while big spending Ligue 1 side Monaco have also been mentioned.

The goalkeeper told a press conference at the Camp Nou on Friday that he felt he "owed it to the club" to see out his current deal and planned to play abroad in the future, but did not expect Saturday's La Liga game against Malaga to be his last for the club.

"We have a year to work out between me and the club the best solution for both parties," Valdes said. "I have a year left and I owe that to the club. My idea is to see that out. Everyone - the club and I - need to find the best solution. I see myself playing in other leagues, and looking for other challenges. [But] I do not feel that tomorrow could be my last game for Barca."

The call was made due to the accumulated pressure that had built up over his 11 seasons as first-choice goalkeeper at the Camp Nou, Valdes said.

"The goalkeeping jersey at this club weighs a lot. There is a lot of responsibility. This is a decision I have made over the seasons, psychologically, bit by bit - it adds up. I made up my mind to tell the club of my decision [not to renew] when they offered me a new deal in January. Nobody should speculate that this decision was made for financial reasons or question my commitment to this club. [But] it has been made and is irrevocable."

The Spain international apologised to any fans who might have been upset at the speculation that filled the void left by his silence since January, but said he felt his relationship with everyone at the club was still good.

"My relationship with everyone, directors included, has always been strong," he said. "I am not involved in the conversations with the club. My agent [Gines Carvajal] is in the meetings, not me."

The Hospitalet de Llobregat-born goalkeeper came through Barca's La Masia academy and made his debut in September 2002. He has since won three Champions Leagues, six La Liga titles, two Copas del Rey and the 'Zamora' trophy for La Liga's best keeper on five separate occasions.

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