The experienced stopper has been linked with the Gunners since his refusal to sign a new deal with his current terms expiring in 2014, and Barcelona are resided to selling Valdes this summer otherwise the 31-year-old will leave for free at the end of next season.
Speaking in the May 2013 issue of FourFourTwo Valdes explained his inevitable departure from the Catalan giants:
I want to try new cultures, new football, new challenges. I’ve had great times here, I love it at Barcelona. I will always come back here, but I have this wonderful job which allows me to travel. And I want to travel.
The Spain international also expressed his interest for the passionate English game that he developed spending time living on the island of Tenerife in his youth. He continued:
I lived in an area of Tenerife where there were a lot of British people. I watched them go into football bars wearing their shirts in the middle of the day.
Each team had a different bar, one for Chelsea or a different one for United. I would see fans celebrating in the street in the middle of the day, dancing in the sun with beers. It was funny, I’d not seen this before.
I like the Premier League, of course. They shoot a lot ‘shoot on goal’ – that’s what you say in English, no? I like the respect of the crowd towards footballers in England. It’s a different way of living football. They clap a simple tackle in England, we’re not used to that. I like it.
The experienced ‘keeper has played almost 500 matches for Barcelona, winning five La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues and two FIFA Club World Cups in the process. The only reason he has failed to gain more than 13 international caps is down to Real Madrid’s Casillas, but if his recent performance against France is anything to go by, he is still world class.
There is a high probability that a goalkeeper will be on the Arsenal shopping list this summer should Fabianski not sign a new deal with his terms set to expire at the end of this season, and Valdes is an exceptional option.
The media blew the recent equalizing goal well out of proportion against PSG where it took a wicked reflection leaving the Spaniard stranded, he is not as error prone as some say. His experience would be invaluable in the dressing room and could be a great mentor for Szczesny.
What are your thoughts over Valdes? Think he is a viable transfer target this summer? Feel free to comment below..