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Valdez hopeful of Valencia stay

Valencia striker Nelson Haedo Valdez says he is close to signing a new deal to stay at the club next season.

Nelson Haedo Valdez wants to stay at Valencia
Nelson Haedo Valdez wants to stay at Valencia

The much-travelled frontman joined Los Che on a season-long loan deal from Russian club Rubin Kazan last summer.

That arrangement reportedly contained an option to make the move permanent this summer, and Valdez says his agents and the club are close to doing just that.

“In a week I will speak about my future,” Valdez said. “We are talking at the moment. My dream is to stay.”

Valdez has featured in 25 La Liga and Champions League games for Valencia this season, but only five of these have been starts. Four of his five league goals have come as a substitute, with the ball hitting the net in the 90th, 93rd, 94th and 95th minutes, while his sole Champions League strike came at Bayern Munich with 91 minutes on the clock.

The Paraguay international has thereby gained a reputation as a ‘supersub’. He said he would prefer to be starting games, while accepting that club captain Roberto Soldado was coach Ernesto Valverde’s first-choice striker.

"It is difficult for me with Roberto, but I want to play, I do not like earning money by sitting on the bench,” Valdes said. “The coach says it is difficult to play two out-and-out forwards. Jonas can also play as a number ten. My position is the same as Roberto’s. I must accept the situation. I want to play, that is why I train and work. I am not the type of person to ask [for a starting place], I am the type to earn it.”

Valencia were among those to suffer as none of La Liga’s four Champions League clubs won their last 16 first legs in recent weeks, and they take a 2-1 defeat into the return leg at Paris Saint-Germain on March 6.

But Valdez said he was confident there would be Spanish representation deep into the competition.

“The teams from La Liga are always among the top sides,” he said. “It is strange that nobody won, but the return games are still to come. Nobody is giving up yet. Why can there not be a Spanish side in the semi-final or final? There is a reason why all the Spanish teams made it through their groups and Spain was the only country to achieve that. I am confident that more than one team will qualify for the quarter-finals.”

Before that Valencia face struggling Real Zaragoza on Saturday in La Liga, with Valverde’s side looking for three more points to continue their surge towards sealing a place in Europe’s top club competition for next season.

“It is a very difficult game, but we are on a good run,” Valdez said. “We must concentrate on our own game before looking at what others are doing. We have a good chance this week.” 

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