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Jun 21, 2013

Mathieu agrees to extend Valencia deal

Jeremy Mathieu has told L'Equipe that he has agreed to extend his contract at Valencia, where he now seems destined to finish his career.

With only a year remaining on his deal with the Liga club, Mathieu, 29, had been linked with Barcelona.

However, the former Sochaux and Toulouse player, who took part in France's summer tour of South America earlier this month, has decided that his future lies with the club he joined in 2009.

"It's all sorted out. It only needs signing," he explained. "I was waiting to see the other offers, but I had always said to myself that I was going to stay.

“We're just a year from the World Cup, and I have the French team in mind. I didn't really see myself starting again from scratch when I feel good at Valencia, where I'm considered a key player.

"It's here I'll have the most chance of showing myself in a good light."

Although Mathieu’s future is decided, questions over his position on the pitch remain.

Having made his reputation as an attacking left-back, he now sees his club and international career continuing in the centre of defence, where he could prove a ready-made replacement should compatriot Adil Rami leave Valencia in the summer.

"I haven't talked too much with the national team coach about my position, and it's true that, against Brazil, he wanted to see me on the left,” Mathieu said.

“But I want to play where I feel best, where I enjoy myself most. Having talked to the Valencia coach, I think I'll start the season in the middle.

"If I have a good season, I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to establish myself in central defence. We'll see at the end who's there and who isn't. In any case, I'm versatile."

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