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Vilanova hopeful of Valdes stay

Updated 01 Jun 2013 21:46:57

Vilanova hopeful of Valdes stay

Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has said he hopes to hold onto goalkeeper Victor Valdes for at least the final year of his contract.

The Spanish international confirmed on Friday that he plans to leave the Spanish champions when his current deal expires in 2014.

And the 31-year-old was an unused substitute as Barca sealed their title triumph by matching Real Madrid's league record 100 points tally with a 4-1 win over Malaga.

"Victor didn't ask me to play the game. We spoke and we decided that (Jose Manuel) Pinto would play," Vilanova told a press conference afterwards.

"I said once the league was won the minutes would be shared around.

"Valdes is the only one who has said he is not going to renew his contract. If he stays I would be delighted and if he doesn't we will look for a goalkeeper. I think Victor has explained everything perfectly."

Valdes himself raised suspicions on Saturday that he could stay in the Catalan capital to see out the final year of his deal.

"We will see each other next year to together continue making Barca even greater," he wrote on his facebook page.

Vilanova meanwhile was delighted to have reached the century points mark and believes they have coped well with the emotional turmoil of both his own absence as he travelled to New York to receive cancer treatment and that of Eric Abidal, who returned to first-team action in April after successfully recovering from a liver transplant.

"It was important to reach the best points tally in the history of the club and equal the mark of Madrid last year.

"In general, with all the things that have happened during the season, it has been good. We have finished the season on a very good level overall."

Abidal made his final Barca appearance as he came on for the final 15 minutes against Malaga after announcing on Thursday he would be leaving the club when his contract expires at the end of the campaign.

And Vilanova it was an emotional evening for everyone involved as his entrance was greeted by a huge ovation at the Camp Nou.

"It is something very emotional for us. It is hard to live through these moments without becoming emotional."


AFP

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