Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has confirmed that he will not be signing a contract extension with the Catalan club when his current contract expires.
With whisperings that Valdes might be considered a transfer target for other clubs, Barcelona were keen to wrap up a new deal with the 31-year-old.
However, in a sensational move by the Spanish international, Valdes has confirmed that he will not be resigning at the Nou Camp, and that his current contract—ending on June 30, 2014—will be the final contract he has with the Spanish giants.
Barcelona sports director Andoni Zubizeretta said (via Eurosport):
We let them know our interest in renewing his contract because he is a keeper of the highest level. Before we could put forward any proposals or speak about anything, his representative told us that the decision had been considered and taken, that he would not continue after June 30, 2014.
It's an irrevocable decision.
[Barcelona fans need to] respect the professional decision of a player who has spent 12 years here. 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. 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.
Manager Tito Vilanova also expressed he was surprised at the decision, but still respected the course of action that Valdes has decided to take.
The situation won't be an issue for Barcelona until the end of next season, when Valdes' contract does expire, giving them plenty of time to find a new goalkeeper.
Reserve goalkeeper José Manuel Pinto will be 38 by that stage, and the Spanish giants may well want to look for a younger, more stable option that him.
Chelsea reserve goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who has been on loan at Atletico Madrid so far this season, is thought to be a transfer option for Barcelona. The youngster hasn't played for the Blues since his move from Genk in 2011, but is thought to be the long-term replacement for Petr Cech at Stamford Bridge when Cech eventually retires.
Regardless of who they pursue, Barca have plenty of time to find a replacement for Valdes, or even a backup to Pinto if they choose the veteran.
The loss of Valdes is a big one of the current La Liga leaders. One that hopefully won't impact the club too much moving forward this season.
Are you surprised at Victor Valdes' decision not to resign with Barcelona?
Comment below or hit me up on Twitter: Follow @dantalintyre