Liga - Transfer round-up: Kondogbia proud to be linked to Madrid

A round-up of the day's Spanish transfer gossip, as Geoffrey Kondogbia reflects on links to a move to Real Madrid.

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Liga - Transfer round-up: Kondogbia proud to be linked to Madrid
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Barcelona's Thiago Alcantara (L) fight for the with ball Sevilla's Geoffrey Kondogbia

The French midfielder, who is currently on duty with his national team at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, has been paired with a possible switch from Sevilla this summer, having impressed in his debut season in La Liga.

“It’s nice [to be linked], yes, but I have to keep my feet on the ground and I know that I have much further to progress,” Kondogbia told Marca when quizzed on the speculation.

“We’ll see later. I have said before, they are a great team, like others, but I feel very happy in Seville.

“We will see what happens after the World Cup.”

Madrid’s Raphael Varane was a former teammate of Kondogbia’s at Lens’ youth academy.

“With Varane I talk a lot, but not about this. We are friends. He has not tried to convince me.”

Thiago Alcantara will meet with Barcelona this week to determine his future amid an ‘irresistible’ Manchester United offer.

The English champions have reportedly stolen a march on Manchester City and Bayern Munich in trying to sign the 22-year-old this summer, amid seeing his buyout clause drop from €90m to €18m thanks to an appearance clause being activated.

AS describe United’s offer to Thiago as ‘irresistible’, with it believed set to make him one of the team’s best paid players.

Combined with assurances over first-team football, it is believed that Barca must use a reported meeting in the coming days with the player to convince him to not accept the move.

Thiago is reportedly pushing for greater first-team opportunities at Barcelona, that an initial meeting with Tito Vilanova before this summer’s UEFA Under-21 Championship could not resolve.

Victor Valdes has explained why he wants to leave Barcelona and that money won’t influence his choice.

The goalkeeper has determined that he will not renew his contract beyond its June 2014 expiry and explained at a recent press conference that the decision was based on the psychological aspect to his role.

Expanding on this point, the 31-year-old reflected to El Pais of his intentions.

“It seemed only fair of me to make it clear that I did not want to renew and to not speculate because I, from Barcelona, did not want to cheat and the decision had been taken, so I was just communicating it,” reflected Valdes this week.

“It is a natural decision. I’m close to 12 years here and one year in goal for Barca is worth two.

“The psychological strain is enormous and for those that do not understand, the norm is that it comes along once in every game, usually in a one-on-one and you have a responsibility to your colleagues, to the coach, to the fans and to yourself.

“That stress has to be experienced to know what it is and how psychologically exhausting it is. I’ve experienced it for 12 years and one day in November or December, I said enough.

“I was proposed to renew my contract a year before its end and I had to decide then if I was ready. And honestly, I thought no, whilst it has been fantastic, it was time to look for other things, after 12 years I need to go somewhere else. 

“Where will I go? I do not know, I have a year to think about it. I will not continue in Spain, but I do not care where, when the time comes I will decide, I have time and I do not mind Italy, Germany, Russia or China, or even across the pond, to go far away, I do not care.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I hate talking about money. Never, ever in my life, have I decided anything for money.

“In my case, I am at Barca out of feeling. Every time I wear that shirt it is a sentimental act. I value other things.”

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