The curtain came down on Victor Valdes’ glorious Barcelona career in inauspicious fashion in midweek, with a knee injury sustained against Celta Vigo likely to keep him out for at least seven months.
While the Blaugrana faithful will be sad to miss a chance to wave him off after a Camp Nou clash with Atletico Madrid that could potentially win Barcelona the La Liga title, Manchester City could have just as much cause to lament his misfortune.
Manuel Pellegrini’s outfit had been one of the frontrunners to sign the two-time Champions League winning gloveman on a free transfer.
However, the injury may well have scotched the deal and the Citizens are now looking elsewhere for goalkeeping reinforcements.
Valdes’ woes are a blow that couldn’t have come at a worse time for the Etihad outfit, with rumours about Real Madrid’s interest in Joe Hart refusing to die down.
The 6ft 5in Shrewsbury native has been in great nick, keeping four clean sheets in his last five away league games and City are just 2/1 to shutout Arsenal in London next time out as a result.
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Despite his fine form, The Star suggest Hart has yet to fully come to terms with his treatment earlier in the season, when he was dropped for seven Premier League games and one Champions League night after a string of errors.
England’s first-choice custodian discussed his period on the bench over the weekend saying:
“I don’t want it to seem as though everything is fine or that it was part of my life that I will forget because I’m still living it and I am trying to live in the moment more recently.”
They’re words that have encouraged Real to believe they have a genuine chance of landing the Three Lions gloveman, who Pellegrini, according to The Star, would be willing to sell for the right price.