In January Barcelona were left stunned by their long-serving goalkeeper Victor Valdes’ request to leave the club at the end of the season. The stopper spoke of his desire to experience a different culture and his love for the English game; which led to him being heavily linked with a move to the Premier League with Arsenal.
The story soon developed into less of an ultimatum status as many suggested he was happy to wait until his contract expired in 2014. But he reportedly told officials at the club earlier in the month that it was his desire to leave as soon as possible; with AS Monaco now the favourites to snap him up.
He even held a ‘leaving do’ last weekend as it becomes more and more apparent that he will leave Spain this summer; with an apparent asking price of €8.5 million being quoted.
Now it seems we are set to get the story from the horse’s mouth as Victor Valdes made this statement on his official Facebook and Twitter accounts on Thursday:
“Tomorrow at 11am [local time] I have decided that I will appear before the media in the Press room at the Camp Nou. Greetings to all,”
So at 10 am UK time it appears that Valdes will admit he is on his way out of the club; with Monaco or Arsenal still the most likely destination.
For Arsenal a goalkeeper is a necessity and someone as experienced as the Spaniard would truly be a coup. With Wojciech Szczesny proving unreliable and Lukasz Fabianski set to leave on a free transfer bringing in a competent and confident keeper would be one massive step toward Arsenal appeasing fans and critics.
Whether he will announce his next club on Friday remains to be seen and it is far more likely this is just the opportunity to let everyone know once and for all his wish to leave for a new challenge in the summer.
With the last game of the season against Malaga at the Nou Camp on Saturday it will give Valdes a chance to say goodbye to his adoring fans; whom he has served loyally for 18 years.
So while no announcement on his destination is likely it will still be intriguing to hear what he has to say; and try to cypher any clues to his future that should please Arsenal fans.
image: © Gerard Reyes