Goalkeeper Valdes to leave Barcelona after next season
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) -- After successfully defending Barcelona's net for more than a decade, goalkeeper Victor Valdes will be parting ways with the team at the end of the 2013-14 season.
The Spanish club said on Friday that negotiations to renew Valdes' contract never got off the ground.
Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizarreta said Valdes' agent told the club that his decision to leave was "irrevocable.''
"We had a first meeting to start the process of renewing Victor's contract,'' Zubizarreta said. "In that meeting we expressed the club's interest in extending his contract, (but) before we could make any proposal his agent said that his decision had been made and that he wouldn't continue beyond June 30, 2014.''
The 31-year-old Valdes is in his 11th season with Barcelona. The Spain international has helped it win three Champions League titles and five Spanish leagues, among other trophies.
Valdes recently said he "didn't rule out getting to know other cultures and football leagues.''
Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubi told Catalan television TV3 that "we will have to find a new goalkeeper or another solution to replace the great goalkeeper that Victor Valdes has been for us. He wants to leave and we have to respect that.''
With Valdes in goal, Barcelona leads the Spanish league by 11 points at the season's midway point.
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