Mandanda admits interest in Barcelona move

The Blaugrana will be looking for a new No.1 when Victor Valdes leaves Camp Nou at the end of the season and the France international is open to filling the void

Olympique de Marseille goalkeeper Steve Mandanda has expressed his interest in joining Barcelona.

Current Blaugrana No.1 Victor Valdes has already confirmed his intention to quit Camp Nou when his contract with the Catalans expires at the end of the season.

The Liga champions have not yet been linked with Mandanda but the France international has confessed that if Barca did come calling, he would find it difficult to say no.

“If a place becomes available in Barcelona, that’s very good,” he told L’Equipe.

“The player that says he does not want to go to Barcelona, I think he’s lying a little … Well, a lot, actually!

“After that, there are agents involved, and the president also, so making predictions [about what might happen] is difficult.”

Mandanda was heavily linked with Monaco during the summer but the 28-year-old insisted that his head wasn’t turned by all the transfer speculation, explaining he was more than happy to stay at the Stade Velodrome.

“It’s been quite a few years I’ve been at l’OM for quite a few years,” he mused. “There was an interesting challenge [put forward by Monaco]. But I stayed and I had no reason to be unmotivated.

“I am, first and foremost, a competitor, a great professional. I also know that I have a debt to l’OM, who picked me up in Le Havre while I was only the second goalie.

“Here, I feel important, appreciated by everyone. The fans have always been behind me. I want to justify the confidence of an entire club in me.”

“I am not envious, sincerely. I am here. During pre-season training, I had a discussion with the coach.

“It lasted 30 seconds. I told him, ‘I’m staying, I am completely here!”

Mandanda added that while he has the utmost confidence in himself, he knows that there are better goalkeepers out there at the moment.

“I’m not the best,” he stated. “The best is Manuel Neuer; he is very complete, very consistent.

“After him, there solid players such as [Gianluigi] Buffon. [Petr] Cech is having a special season.

“Young people like [Thibaut] Courtois and [Simon] Mignolet have also arrived. To place them in relation to me is tricky.”

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