It was the 31st of May 2013 and associated members of the press were gathering in Barcelona, awaiting the appearance of FC Barcelona goalkeeper, Victor Valdés who was scheduled to hold a press conference. It was rumoured that Valdés was going to make a major announcement, and indeed the Catalan keeper dictated the headlines, painting the front pages of the Spanish dailies with but a single sentence:
"I consider that my cycle as a Barcelona player will come to an end when my current contract expires in 2014."
For some, the news came as a significant shock. This was a player who had been involved with the club in one capacity or another for the best part of two decades; to bring his affiliation with FC Barcelona to an end in such a sudden fashion?
It was unthinkable. As time passed, it became more and more apparent that Valdés’ mind was made up. There was to be no u-turn, no change of heart, yet here we are, 366 days later and still Victor Valdés is yet to announce where he will ply his trade next season.
Rumours of a move to AS Monaco were abound, while others suggested that Valdés could make the switch to the English Premier League – and perhaps he would have announced such a move, if not for the knee injury he suffered against Celta Vigo a few months ago. But fate can be a cruel mistress, and since the knee injury, the rumour mill has grown eerily quiet.
So, what exactly will happen to Victor Valdés?
One can only speculate; the recovery has reportedly been tough on him and he still has some way to go. There’s a strong chance that he may not be fit to return before 2015, and as such, very few clubs are likely to be willing to commit to a deal. Changing your goalkeeper is a risky proposition – changing your goalkeeper in mid-season, replacing him with someone who has just recovered from a serious knee injury? That’s potentially suicidal.
With Luis Enrique keen on the idea of promoting competition for Barça’s #1 jersey, is it too late for Valdés to reconsider his departure?
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