Albert Celades delighted to keep hold Rodrigo Moreno amid Barcelona interest

Valencia boss Albert Celades has spoken of his delight at holding on to star striker Rodrigo Moreno during the January transfer window.

The Spanish international was the subject of intense transfer speculation in the closing days of the transfer window, with a deadline day move to Barcelona eventually falling through.

Celades acknowledged that Moreno was keen to move on the Camp Nou, but praised the 28-year old's professionalism during a uncertain period for the former Benfica man.

"Rodrigo continuing here at Valencia is a great joy for the club," Moreno told reporters from Mundo Deportivo following Los Che's 1-0 weekend win over Celta Vigo.

"He made a great effort to play against Barcelona (last week), and he was very good against Celta."

"We must monitor the situation and take care of him."

Valencia were reported to be willing to accept a €60M fee for the Brazilian-born forward, however the stumbling block was their desire to keep him on loan until the end of the current season.

That would have caused an issue for Barcelona, as they looked to find a short term replacement for the injured Luis Suarez in the coming weeks, and Quique Setien opted to pull out of the deal.

Moreno is under contract at the Estadio Mestalla until June 2022, but with his release clause set at a reported €120M, Valencia are unlikely to budge on their current asking price.

Tags Albert Celades Rodrigo Moreno