Zubizarreta: Barcelona respect Valdes' decision

The shot-stopper communicated via his agents that he will leave Camp Nou when his deal runs out at the end of next season, and the Blaugrana have called for fans to support him
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has insisted that the club respect Victor Valdes' decision not to renew his contract.

The goalkeeper, whose current deal runs until 2014, revealed on Thursday that he will not entertain talks over a new agreement.

And Zubizarreta explained that Barca officials did not have a chance to offer their shot-stopper improved terms, and has urged fans to support the 31-year-old's decision to leave Camp Nou.

"We were holding the first meeting to initiate the process for renewing Victor's contract. The meeting began with us expressing the club's desire to extend his contract, because we consider him to be a top class goalkeeper," he told Barca TV.

"But before we could make any proposal or discuss anything, his agent said the decision was already made and meditated, and that he will not be staying any later than June 30, 2014. It is an irrevocable decision.

"We must respect the professional decision of a player who has spent 12 years in this home.

"With that in mind, we are asking you to continue supporting him and to encourage him as much as you have done throughout his career. He is committed to this jersey until June 30, 2014 and will defend the goal with everything he has and knows.

"Meanwhile, we shall work together to see what the next steps should be, along with him and his agent, to work together to deal with this situation that arose yesterday [Thursday]."

Earlier in January, Valdes claimed that he wanted to end his career at Barcelona, but also hinted that he might be tempted by pastures new.

"Since I signed the last contract I have not spoken about it. I signed the last one in June 2009 and have not been concerned since," he said at the time.

"It is not the time for me to be worrying about it, there is still time. I'm focused on winning games. My dream is to retire here… Time will tell.

"I have spent 11 years here and as goalkeeper it is difficult in many ways. I do not rule out other cultures, other football, other countries, we will see."

Reports in Spain suggest that Valdes is holding out for wages similar to Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, and have linked the Spain goalkeeper with a move to Liverpool.

The British press, meanwhile, have suggested that he could be replaced by Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea.