Alves welcomes Barcelona transfer link

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Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves admits it's flattering to be linked with a move to Barcelona, reports Sky Sports.

The 26-year-old has been mooted as a possible replacement for Victor Valdes, who is set to leave Camp Nou at the end of the season, upon the expiry of his current contract.

Alves says it will be a devastating blow to the whole of La Liga to lose a player of Valdes's quality, but remains excited about the prospect of replacing the Spanish stopper as Barca's number one.

"Who wouldn't like to play for Barcelona? It's the team that are on top," he said. "I am sorry that Valdes is leaving, he is a big loss.

"I see him as the goalkeeper who is in exceptional form; he is one of the best in the world at the moment."

The Brazil international's belief that Valdes is one of the world's best was backed up by another impressive performance in Barcelona's 4-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night.

Despite the comfortable scoreline, Tito Vilanova's side were severely tested by their Primera Division opponents, and Valdes was instrumental in protecting their clean sheet, after saving a penalty for the second successive game.

However, the Catalan club are already on the lookout for a long-term successor for the goalkeeper - who has made 366 appearances during his 13-year stint at Barcelona - with Alves currently the most likely option.

"A move to Barcelona doesn't depend on me," he added. "There is always speculation mentioning my name, but nothing official.

"I'll keep doing my job at Valencia, with whom I have a contract until 2015."

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