Manchester City are reportedly lining up a surprise bid for Middlesborough’s Victor Valdes as a back-up option in goal for next season.
With Middlesborough’s Premier League dream ending with relegation, goalkeeper Victor Valdes is expected to complete a move away from the Riverside Stadium in the summer. And according to sources close to the ESPN, it’s Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City of all teams that are in the running to sign him up.
Manchester City are in the midst of a Top 4 battle at the moment and it’s only their defensive frailties and troubles in goal that have held them back from giving Chelsea a fight for the title.
Their issues in defence have often been addressed by changes in formation and the presence of Vincent Kompany at the back. However, their reliance on Willy Caballero to deliver the goods in goal when they have players of the likes of Claudio Bravo and Joe Hart under their wing is a worrying sight.
Bravo has come nowhere close to justifying the price tag that brought him from the Camp Nou to the Etihad last summer. He was brought in to replace Joe Hart as City’s number one with the Englishman sent out on loan to Torino.
While the English international has enjoyed a decent season in the Serie A, the man meant to replace him at City has had his stocks plummet dramatically thanks to a disastrous showing from day one.
A lack of confidence playing off the back, Bravo even struggled to make some regulation saves and at one point of the season boasted a shocking stat of having let in 16 goals of just the 24 shots he had faced in games during December and January.
Victor Valdes, on the other hand, established himself as a reliable figure in goal for a Middlesborough side, who despite relegation, shipped out only 11 more goals than City have over the course of the season.
The 35-year-old has never managed to return to his glorious Barcelona days with fruitless moves to Manchester United and Standard Liege following his stay at the Camp Nou. But with Middlesborough the Spaniard has shown that he still has a bit of juice left in him before he decides to call it a day.
And that seemingly has caught the eye of his former boss Guardiola. The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss is willing to have a familiar figure under his wing as a back-up option in goal.
There will be quite a bit of shuffling expected in the goalkeeping department at the Etihad this summer. Bravo, definitely not one of Pep’s finer acts, could be off-loaded and with Hart returning from Turin it remains to be seen what the boss’ course of action will be.