Valencia captain Dani Parejo has spoken of the importance of keeping Nuno Santo’s squad together, including in-demand defender Nicolas Otamendi.
Otamendi has been strongly linked with a move away from Mestalla but Parejo, speaking to AS, said the Argentine understands how much he is appreciated at his current club.
“He knows how important he is to us and he is a benchmark for the team and the fans,” the skipper insisted.
“I put great importance on maintaining the group and it is being maintained. I think that staying together, after a good year, is important for this project in the medium and long-term. We have the advantage of a year of adaptation and we’re all improved.
“I’m young but I’m a veteran. I’ve been here five seasons and there aren’t many people here who are older than me.
“A captain should be an example in many ways. Obviously you have to assume responsibility and this has an impact even in your private life.
“The challenge is to make this year even better for Valencia. I always say, [the Champions League] isn’t difficult to get, but it is difficult to keep.”