Tito confident Barcelona can find a replacement for Valdes

The goalkeeper plans to leave the Blaugrana at the end of next season, but the coach insists that fans should continue to support their No.1, and that he can be replaced
Tito Vilanova has stated that he respects Victor Valdes' decision to leave Barcelona in 2014, and is confident that the club can find a suitable replacement.

The goalkeeper revealed on Thursday that he does not want to enter into talks with the Blaugrana over a contract extension.

And Vilanova, who sat down with his No.1 on Friday, has reinforced sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta's earlier wish that the club's supporters do not turn on the 31-year-old.

"I've spoken with him and I would like it if we respect his decision to play where he wants," the coach told reporters at a press conference.

"We have to respect him, he is our goalkeeper and while he is with us we will have to help him and it would be nice if he could have a good exit from the club. He deserves it for everything that he has given to the club.

"He didn't say that he wants to go, he said that he doesn't want to renew his contract. There are people that will think that he is giving the club time to sign another goalkeeper and other people that will think that he has left us with a problem.

"During the last few months I have seen him be very happy, I don't think that he is upset with us. This is not about money, talks didn't even start.

"We all have the right to play in other cities, other cultures, other teams. It doesn't upset me at all because I know he is professional, that he will continue to work.

"I don't know if we will sell him in January. We haven't had time to think about anything. Nobody wins if we don't help the player. The best thing to do is to help and protect the player.

"I don't know if he will change his mind. I have spoken with him today and I don't know if his decision can be reversed.

"The only thing we know [for now] is that he will not stay after 2014.

"It's a shame because I believe that he's the ideal goalkeeper for Barcelona. I respect his decision and it doesn't upset me. He will continue to help us win matches.

"My feeling was that he would renew. It's clear I don't have a future as fortune-teller!"

But Vilanova is confident that the club will be able to find a replacement, even if they have higher standards than other teams.

"I understand that there are people who think this is not a good time for him to go, but he gives the club a long time to find a replacement for a very difficult position," he continued.

"The margin we have [until he leaves] is a year and a half, and that's not bad. The technical secretary is up-to-date and our scouts are following players around the world all year. There's no problem.

"There are good goalkeepers in the world, but here at Barca we require them to have something extra, that they don't just make saves. Passing is also important. It is a delicate position.

"I'm sure the club will find a great goalkeeper."

The British and Spanish press have linked Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea with a move to Camp Nou in recent weeks, while Valdes is rumoured to be a target for Liverpool.

Barcelona will play Real Sociedad at Anoeta on Saturday as they look to maintain their impressive start to the Liga season, having only dropped two points from a possible total of 57.