It's public knowledge that FC Barcelona needs and wants to sign a new center-back for next season. Many different rumours have surrounded many different players, but for the most part, the names of Jeremy Mathieu and Marquinhos have been seriously linked with moves to Barça.
The Marquinhos Saga is still unfinished, and that soap opera will probably never end. The Mathieu story, though, seems very likely to come to a conclusion with good news for him and Barça. The 30-year-old defender has released an official statement, asking his current club, Valencia, to open up and negotiate with the Blaugrana. Valencia's officials have been clear that they'll not talk to Barcelona unless the Catalunya side agrees to pay Mathieu's full buyout fee, of €20 million. Barça wants to pay €15 million and that discrepancy led to the negotiations stalling. But in his statement, the player makes it clear that he wants to leave, and asks Valencia president to let him go:
"On July 17, 2014, I, Jeremy Mathieu, want to clarify all the different informations surrounding myself in this statement.
"I want to make clear that there isn't any moment in which my intentions are to get into a confrontation with Valencia CF, because of the love and respect I have for this entity and its magnificient fans. I've played here for five years and I can only thank this club for their trust and support towards me all this years.
"I wish this statement is not interpreted as a way of forcing a situation that leads to my exit. It's simply a way of telling the truth about my situation and to stop feeding any rumours and speculations.
"Valencia CF has an offer on their table from an important club that wants to have my services. I don't hide that for me this is a gigantic step forward in all aspects, and it's a reward to all the work and effort I've put in, and it's an unique opportunity that I think every footballer would like to have.
"I signed with Valencia five years ago for free, so this transaction would be beneficial to all parts involved. During all these years I tried to give my best, showed my professionalism and my love for the club on every moment, but I think now is the time to take a step forward in my career and end this cycle with an entity that I'll always have in my heart. I'll always be thankful to this club, no matter what.
"I would like to vehemently deny every accusation that's being made about me, calling me a rebel and saying that I don't want to work with the group. Every single person involved in the world of football should understand that when you're in the midst of a negotiation, you don't want to risk an injury and lose it all."
"I want to ask Valencia CF and its president, Amadeo Salvo, to please understand the situation and accept to negotiate my exit. I have the opportunity to play in the biggest club in the world and that's all I want. I'll never forget what Valencia has done for me, but it's time to move on in the best way possible".
"I have never been a controversial individual and I don't ever want to be, I just ask respect and understanding of the situation I'm in. This is something beneficial to everyone involved and I hope it gets done in the best way possible. In fact, when I signed my extension last season, Valencia president promised me that he would let me leave if a good offer like this was put on table.
"Valencia CF will always be in my heart, and I would really like to finish this chapter in a positive way, because I certainly don't wanna lose all the respect I learned to have for this amazing entity.
Sincerely, Jeremy Mathieu".
Now, it's up to Valencia to decide whether or not they'll reconsider Barça's offer.
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