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Hunger is back at Barca

Barcelona
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Barcelona extension mooted for Valdes

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says the club will offer Victor Valdes all the support required as he recovers from a serious knee injury, and are still hopeful he could remain at the Camp Nou next season.

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Valdes, 32, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in Wednesday’s 3-0 La Liga win over Celta Vigo, and is set for an operation in Germany next Monday, and is unlikely to return to action until September at the earliest.

The Spain international goalkeeper had planned on leaving Barca once his contracts ends this summer, with Monaco and Manchester City reported as his most likely destinations. However the injury may complicate those plans, and there has been talk of the Camp Nou club trying to persuade him to stay for another season at least.

The Blaugrana chief told El Partido de los 12 that Valdes would receive whatever help he needed from Barca during the recovery period, and that he was still welcome to change his mind about leaving.

“We know that he is in a bad moment, and he has the club for whatever he needs,” Bartomeu said. “He is very worried about his injury, but we will do whatever is required. We are not aware of him signing a contract with another club. We would love him to stay here.”

Barca’s back-up goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto is now set to play as Barca chase a treble of La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey, although the Andalucian is now 38, has suffered back-problems recently and is himself also out of contract at the end of season.

Nevertheless, Bartomeu followed Blaugrana coach Gerardo Martino in ruling out the idea of signing an emergency goalkeeper to cover the remainder of the current campaign.

“Planning work on the squad has been taking place since the season started,” he said. “Tata does not want to talk about it because he is right in the middle of the competition, we are playing for many trophies. If something happens to Pinto or [third choice] Oier [Olazabal], we also have the Barca B goalkeepers.”

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