Plenty of transfer speculation followed Valdes around in recent months as questions about his future were raised. While the 31-year-old keeper confirms he doesn't plan to extend his contract, he isn't expecting a summer move, either.
Said the goalkeeper at a press conference (h/t Goal.com):
I owe the fans an explanation as to why I will not renew my contract. Barcelona have given me everything and this has been home for 20 years.
The pressure as a goalkeeper is huge, though, at this club. I am exhausted psychologically and I feel that my cycle at the club ends in 2014. This is not about money.
I feel honored that the club want me to continue, but my decision is final. I will continue to wear the Barca jersey with honor until the final day of my contract.
I want to stay until 2014, but I am open to discuss things with the club. I think that the club have enough time to find a good successor.
Valdes has been involved with Barcelona since joining the youth squad in 1992. Aside from a brief stop at Tenerife during his youth career, he's been with Barca for a majority of the past two decades. He's been a stalwart in net for the senior club for the past 11 years.
That he plans to play out his contract is good news for the club. They are already in the process of upgrading the roster, as evidenced by the signing of rising star Neymar, and having Valdes on board for the time being makes finding another goalkeeper less of a priority.
Is it the right decision by Valdes?
Instead, Barcelona can focus on finding outfield players this summer and keep the veteran as the No. 1 for one more season. As Valdes mentioned in his comments, it gives the club more time to identify and acquire his successor.
Valdes has made 44 appearances across all competitions this season. It marks the 10th straight season in which he topped for 40-match mark for the club, illustrating both durability and continued strong form during his stay at Camp Nou.
It's a stay that's now expected to last another year. Valdes and Barcelona finish their latest title-winning La Liga campaign with a match against Malaga on Saturday.