La Liga

Valdes backs Masip for Barca

Victor Valdes of FC Barcelona
Victor Valdes has backed Barca B keeper Jordi Masip as his replacement.
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Victor Valdes would be delighted if Barcelona promoted Jordi Masip to be his replacement rather than dipping into the transfer market.

STRIKING OUT

Cavani is just one of the strikers linked with a move to Arsenal in this week's Rumor Mill.

The Catalan goalkeeper has confirmed that he will leave the Blaugrana at the end of the current campaign, leading to speculation over who will take over as Barca's No.1.

Liverpool's Pepe Reina, who is currently on loan at Napoli, Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois, currently shining during a third season with Atletico Madrid and Marc-Andre ter Stegen of Borussia Monchengladbach have all been linked.

However, Valdes would like current coach Tata Martino to follow in the footsteps of former Barca boss Louis van Gaal as the Dutchman promoted him from within back in 2002.

"This is the first time that I have been asked [about Masip] and I would really like it," the Spain international told reporters.

"I remember the day that Van Gaal asked me to step up and play for the first team.

"It would be great if it turned out that someone home-grown was given the chance, but I know how hard that can be."

The 24-year-old Masip joined Barcelona in 2008 and has played for the club's B team ever since, but has been linked with a move away from Camp Nou if he is not given a first-team chance.

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