Tito Vilanova admits he was surprised by Victor Valdes’ decision to not renew his contract with the club, but is confident of his professionalism.
The 31-year-old informed the club through his agents yesterday of his decision to not renew his contract beyond its June 2014 expiry.
“I talked to Victor, but that was a private conversation. I will respect his decision. He can go anywhere,” reflected Vilanova, whose pre-match Press conference today was dominated by questions on the topic.
“He has not asked us to leave, he just will not renew. People have to be where they want to be. We are certain that he will still continue to help as before.
“I do no understand it that he wants to leave. I understand that there are people who think this is not good timing, but it is never a good time for someone to leave.
“We may also have time to think, so that Barca can find another goalkeeper. Everyone has the right to work where they want to. From what I have seen I do not doubt his professionalism. I’ve been pleased and am confident, I do not think he is unhappy with us.
“Yes, I learned of his decision yesterday. Following the meeting, Zubizarreta called me and told me. He made clear that his performance whilst with us will still be there and I have no doubt that it will.
“I believe there is no issue. Sometimes we think that Barcelona is the best city in the world and Barca are the best club, but we all have the right to work anywhere.
“His decision has not upset me because I know of his professionalism. The only new thing is we will not have him in 2014. I am sorry that he will leave, but nothing will change.
“The important thing is that people appreciate what he has done and that he is valued as the best goalkeeper the club has had in its history.”