Valdes is priceless for Barcelona, says Zubizarreta

The Barca director is full of respect for the goalkeeper and has admitted that he did not expect the 31-year-old to refuse to sign a new contract
Barcelona sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta has taken the time to praise Victor Valdes and has stated that the club are happy to sit down with the goalkeeper this summer if he wants to leave the club.

The 31-year-old announced earlier this season that he does not want to extend his current contract, which runs until June 2014, citing his desire for a new challenge.

"Valdes is a magnificent keeper, a player who is priceless to us," Zubizarreta told RAC1.

"If he wants to leave [this summer], we'll sit down with him and we'll look for the best solution."

Zubizarreta then went on to admit that he thought contract talks with Valdes actually went well and that he misjudged the situation.

"I thought that the renewal talks with him were going well, so I have to say 'mea culpa'.

"When we made the contract offer, we were told that he didn't want to renew his deal out of a desire to compete, to go somewhere new and try a different style of football.

"Being goalkeeper at Barca takes a lot out of you, and I think his decision is more a life choice than a professional one."

Valdes has made over 350 Liga appearances for the Catalans since making his debut in 2002-03.