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"There was no good time for Victor to say he's leaving"

Tito Vilanova spoke to the press in advance of tomorrow's game away to Real Sociedad, with many of the questions focusing on Victor and Pep.

In the pre-match press conference before tomorrow's game against Real Sociedad Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova admitted to being surprised, to a certain extent, by Victor Valdés' decision not to renew his contract. "It's never a good time for a keeper like Valdés to say that he is leaving, but it has to be respected".

Victor Valdés: "I have spoken to him. Everyone is free to work where they want to. He hasn't asked to leave, rather that he will see out his contract and then he'll continue playing somewhere else. It has to be respected. He's going to keep playing for us as he has up to now, and it would be positive thing for him to leave the club on good terms".

See out his contract: "He never said he wanted to leave, rather that he wouldn't continue past 2014. Maybe it's not a good time for it, but there never is. The club now has time to find a replacement. Some people will think he should have said it later, others that he should have said it earlier, but I don't doubt his professionalism, and I've seen that he is happy".

News: "I heard about it after the meeting. Zubi [Zubizaretta, Barcelona sporting director] called me to tell me. It was sufficiently important to do so".

In the team: "If he keeps training and working as he does at the moment, he'll start games. I'll repeat myself: he hasn't said he wants to leave, but that he won't renew his contract".

Problems with club?: "I don't think he's got any issues with the club. Sometimes we think this is the best city and the best club, but everyone has the right to play elsewhere. It's his decision".

Effect on the team: "It doesn't upset my plans. I know he'll work hard. It does affect me. It makes me sad, because he's the ideal keeper for Barcelona".

Fans: "He didn't give the club room to negotiate. He can't be called mercenary. The fans have to understand his decision and respect it. He's won three Champions Leagues with Barcelona and was important to each and every one. He's the best keeper Barça have had in many, many years".

The squad: "I don't how the players have taken it, although they will be a little surprised because it wasn't expected. But they are professionals and if things go badly tomorrow they won't be able to say it's because of this. Barcelona is constantly in the news".

Disappointment after expecting him to renew: "It's clear I'm not a fortune teller. I knew the club were looking to renew his contract because Zubi told me and I saw that Victor looked happy".

Sell him now? : "We should forget about it now. Tomorrow we have a game".

Substitute: "There are good keepers on the market. Here we ask for other things, but the important thing for a keeper is to make saves, that shouldn't be forgotten. Whoever comes in will be supported. You only have to see how much better Pinto has got with his feet. Every team finds it hard to locate a keeper, but in 100 and something years a lot of players have left and the club has kept going".

Guardiola: "It's great news for the Bundesliga. Bayern are one of four or five teams where he could have gone, for the history, the infrastructure... He'll bring a lot to German football. The best coach in the world should be coaching. We won't talk about Barça style any more. This team has won a lot of trophies with their own style".

Draw with Málaga: "It doesn't change my plans. We always think about it beforehand. Tomorrow is Saturday and we play Málaga on Thursday. There is time".

Real Sociedad: "The two times we've been up there with the first team we haven't managed to win. They are dangerous, fast on the wings, and good on the break".

Estadísticas AS.com