Who will replace Victor Valdes in the Barcelona goal?


You'd think most players would be pretty happy to be a regular for Barcelona, who, y'know, are one of the best teams in the world. But Victor Valdes clearly isn't most players; the 30-year-old goalkeeper stunned the Catalan side last week by revealing that he won't sign a new contract. Valdes is believed to be keen on experiencing other football cultures, opening up the possibility of a move to England, Italy or even less traditional leagues like the MLS.

Wherever the Spanish international goes, one thing is clear: Barcelona are going to need a new goalkeeper. The current favourite to start in Barcelona's first league game of 2013/14 is Vicente Guaita (2.50). The Valencia stopper was rumoured to be a transfer target even before the Valdes news broke, and has impressed the Blaugrana hierarchy with his displays this season. At 25, he would also represent a sound investment for the future.

Another possibility is Borussia Mönchengladbach youngster Marc-André ter Stegen (4.50). One of the standout players in the Foals' impressive 2011/12 Bundesliga campaign, the goalkeeper has already earnt two full Germany caps despite still being just 20. Inexperience could be a concern, however. The same cannot be said of Maarten Stekelenburg (10.00), who has racked up over 50 appearances for the Netherlands. The Dutchman has fallen out of favour at Roma and would be a solid, if unspectacular, signing.

More illustrious names to be linked with Barcelona include Joe Hart, Manuel Neuer and, intriguingly, Iker Casillas (all trading at 75.00). All three have strong bonds with their current clubs, although Casillas' recent row with Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho has created some doubt over his future. It seems unlikely that the Spain captain would step across La Liga's great divide, but stranger things have happened.

If none of the above options appeal, Barça could decide to promote from within. Jose Manuel Pinto, who has deputised for Valdes for four years, is a tempting 10.00 to start the season between the sticks. Of course, Valdes himself could yet have a change of heart. You can back him to still be in the Barcelona goal at 3.00.

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