Reports are emerging suggesting that former Barcelona goalkeeper victor Valdes is on the verge of signing a one-and-a-half-year permanent contract with Manchester United.
The Spanish international has been out of action since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament on 26 March 2014. Louis van Gaal offered the Spaniard the opportunity to continue his rehabilitation in Manchester from October 2014.
The injury occurred during a 3-0 win for Barcelona over Celta Vigo after an awkward landing, meaning he missed the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Valdes had already made it clear that he would be leaving Barcelona once his contract had expired at the end of the 2013/14 season.
The move to sign the 'keeper will leave a number of questions around David De Gea’s future at the club amid reported interest from Real Madrid. The former Atletico Madrid man has been in superb form for United this season, elevating his status to one of the best goalkeepers in Europe.
What United's interest means
It has been reported that United remain confident that De Gea’s long-term future is at Old Trafford but as we have seen in the past when Madrid come knocking, they are rarely turned down.
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Question marks remain about the motivation behind signing Valdes at this time. Is the former Barca man being signed to replace De Gea? Or is he merely an upgrade on the rarely seen back-up Anders Lindegaard? United will no doubt be hoping it is the latter and that Valdes’s experience can benefit De Gea in the long term at Old Trafford.
It would be disappointing to lose another top talent to La Liga, but United will be hoping that Madrid are forced to look elsewhere in their hunt for a successor for Iker Casillas.
De Gea is an Atletico fan and has not shown any signs of discontent at United, who now boast a large Spanish-speaking contingent including De Gea’s close friend Juan Mata. All of this suggests that he will remain in England for now. It will be interesting to see what impact Valdes's signing will have if it comes to fruition.