Valencia and Spain left back Jordi Alba has just one year left on his current contract. He will not be signing another one as he intends to join Barcelona. The only real doubt is whether Valencia will sell him this summer, or keep him for a year and see him join Barca for nothing next summer.
Valencia president Manuel Llorente is demanding 15 million euros and knows that Barca are in dire need of a left back. He also thinks that a Premier league club might come in for Alba after his performances at Euro 2012, according to Marca.
It is a dangerous game that Llorente is playing as the defender has set his heart on a return to Barcelona where he was in the youth system for seven years. Barca seem to be making a habit of buying back players that they have let leave the academy, Fabregas being the main example. They paid Arsenal around £30 million to resign Fabregas but are unwilling to match Valencia’s valuation of Alba.
New Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova has only got a limited budget this summer but is desperate to fill the left back spot vacated by Eric Abidal’s liver transplant. Abidal has been told by doctors that he should be able to resume his football career but Barca are understandably concerned about the position.
Alba has become one of the best performers in a very good Valencia side. He made 50 appearances for the club as they claimed third spot in La Liga. Valencia are burdened with debt and will be keen to get as much as they can for Alba. They will not want to let him go for nothing, so it is a matter of who is the best poker player.