Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has opened the transfer door for Premier League clubs – including Arsenal – after admitting his interest in playing away from Spain.
The 31-year-old has enjoyed a glittering career at the Nou Camp, winning five La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies over the last decade.
However, the Spanish international stopper admits he wants to ‘travel’, despite loving life in Catalonia.
"I want to try new cultures, new football, new challenges. I’ve had great times here, I love it at Barcelona,” Valdes told the May issue of FourFourTwo magazine.
“I will always come back here, but I have this wonderful job which allows me to travel. And I want to travel."
FourFourTwo goes on to claim that a host of Premier League clubs have shown an interest in the player in recent months, with Arsenal and Manchester City amongst the potential suitors.
And, Valdes goes on to admit that British football fans left their mark on him as a youngster in a positive way, and that he likes the Premier League.
"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,” he added.
"Each team had a different bar, one for Chelsea or a different one for Manchester 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 shout 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."
Arsenal have been linked with a number of keepers in recent times, with the No.1 spot still up for grabs at the Emirates Stadium.
Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski are currently battling for the position, but neither has made it their own in recent times for the Gunners.
Valdes would add world-class ability and experience to Arsenal, and with his contract running down at the Nou Camp, his transfer fee would be within the club’s price range.
Manchester City have no such financial problems, but have their own top stopper in Joe Hart at the Etihad Stadium.
Whilst the England international has come in for criticism this season, he is widely regarded as one of the very best in the Premier League, and has over a decade to give to the Citizens.
However, Valdes would provide quality competition for the No.1 spot at Manchester City, and give manager Roberto Mancini a selection headache for the 2013/14 season.