Manchester latest: City vie for Valdes, United want Savic?
Departing Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes’ next destination may be Manchester City, according to reports in the Spanish press earlier this week.
These claim that the 32-year-old, who has Champions League, European Championship and World Cup winners’ medals to his name, is the subject of strong interest from 5/4 Premier League title favourites City.
Valdes’ contract at the Nou Camp expires this summer and he has declared his intention to move on from Barca.
Resurgent French Ligue 1 outfit Monaco, backed by the billions of Dmitry Rybolovlev, looked to be favourites to sign him, but now City have reportedly entered the race.
Rumours circulated in January that Spain stopper Valdes, who has won five Zamora Trophies with 7/2 Champions League second-favourites Barcelona for being the best goalkeeper in La Liga, has signed a pre-contract agreement with Monaco.
Now it is understood he may be able to break that and sign for City, provided they pay a nominal fee.
City coach Manuel Pellegrini briefly dropped England number one Joe Hart, who is a lock at 1/50 to make Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad, earlier this season, but he has since regained his place.
Speculation that Valdes may be on his way to the Etihad may have a knock-on effect for second-choice custodian Costel Pantilimon too.
Reports from Italy claim, meanwhile, that former City centre back Stefan Savic has emerged as a surprise contender to fill the void left at United by club captain Nemanja Vidic’s summer departure.
David Moyes has been linked with several defenders since it was announced Vidic would definitely be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season. Savic, 23, is the latest name on that ever-growing list after Mehdi Benatia, Ezequiel Garay and Eliaquim Mangala.
The Red Devils, who are 7/1 for a top-four finish, have established a working relationship with Savic’s current club Fiorentina as they loaned Brazilian midfielder Anderson to the Florentine team in January. Coach Vincenzo Montella may not want to let him go, however, as his side are challenging for Champions League football.
Montenegro international Savic came to Serie A in the summer of 2012 as a makeweight in a part-exchange deal that sent Serbia’s Matija Nastasic to City. He is closing in on 50 top-flight appearances with the Viola.
Fiorentina face an all-Italian Europa League last 16 clash with domestic champions Juventus after the international break. Montella’s men beat the Old Lady (9/4 favourites to win the continental competition) 4-2 at home in Serie A earlier this season and are 12/1 to go all the way in Europe.