Valdes backs Pepe Reina to replace him at Barcelona

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(Maxisport / Shutterstock.com)
(Maxisport / Shutterstock.com)

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has backed Liverpool’s Pepe Reina to be his successor at the Nou Camp when he leaves the club.

Valdes also threw his future back up into the air this afternoon when he announced that he will see through the one remaining year on his contract.

The Spanish goalkeeper had planned to leave the Catalan giants this summer, but with the final day of La Liga this weekend, has had a slight change of heart.

“Reina? He knows the club, we grew up here together and he’s a close friend,” said Valdes at a press conference, translated by the International Business Times. “He can play at any club in the world and Barça is one of them.”

Earlier this week, amid speculation linking him with a return to the club he started his career at, Reina spoke of how it would be hard to say no if Barcelona came knocking.

However, Valdes has his sights on one more season at Barcelona (although that appears to be a decision not agreed with the club yet), where he feels the pressure of being at one of the world’s biggest clubs.

“My apologies for these months of silence. I’m aware I owe the fans an explanation about why I won’t renew my contract,” he told press. “Barça gave me everything, this has been my home for 20 years. But the pressure as goalkeeper here is huge.

“Psychologically I’m exhausted. I feel that my cycle at the club ends in 2014. That’s what I told the club. It is not a money issue. It’s an honour the club wants me to continue, but the decision is final. I think the club has enough time to look for a successor.”

Liverpool meanwhile have been reportedly chasing Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic as a potential replacement for Reina, however Stoke have vowed to make it hard for any potential buyers.

It looks as if the Reds have two transfer sagas on their hands this summer over the futures of Reina and Luis Suarez. Unfortunately, until the players come out in the media and commit their immediate future to Liverpool, the speculation will continue.

As for today’s murmurings, Valdes’ quotes aren’t exactly the most insightful – “He can play at any club in the world and Barça is one of them.” Tell us something we don’t know, Victor.

To mark the end of the 30-year wait for a league title, the ‘Liverpool Mishmash’ poster is available to order exclusively on This Is Anfield — the history of the Reds in one image!

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