‘Keeper merry-go-round hinges on Valdes’ Monaco move
This summer could see a number of high profile goalkeepers packing their bags for pastures new, but much hinges on the future of Barcelona number one Victor Valdes.
The Spaniard, who is regarded as one of the best stoppers in the world after helping the Catalan giants to six La Liga, two Copa del Rey and three Champions League titles, is approaching the final year of his contract and attracting the attention of free-spending Monaco.
A Russian revolution is in full swing at the newly-promoted Ligue 1 club, with Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho and James Rodriguez already added to the playing staff, and Valdes has been heavily linked with a move to the principality.
Monaco chief executive Vadim Vasilyev recently backed the club’s current number one, Danijel Subacic, but said the choice will ultimately be that of head coach Claudio Ranieri.
Valdes himself is poised to address the media over his future later this week and Liverpool fans will be among those eager to hear what the 31-year-old has to say.
Should the Spaniard confirm his desire to leave Camp Nou, Barca are expected to turn towards Reds ‘keeper Pepe Reina to fill the void.
Reina started his career at Barcelona, playing 49 times for the first team, before leaving for Villarreal and ending up at Anfield, and the 30-year-old recently admitted it would be “difficult to say no” to a return to his boyhood club.
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers is keen to keep hold of his number one and odds of 4/6 suggest Reina will start the new season in front of the Kop.
However, at odds of 5/4 and with Champions League football on offer, many will be tempted to back a Camp Nou return for Reina should Valdes leave.
That would leave Liverpool in need of a recognised number one and according to the betting Stoke’s Asmir Begovic fits the bill.
With Jack Butland already at the Britannia, Begovic looks set for the exit and odds of 8/15 can currently be had on the Bosnian moving to Anfield, while 13/8 says he’ll remain at Stoke and 6/1 says he’s Arsenal-bound.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.