Víctor Valdés

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3-time Champions League winner Valdes retires

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Victor Valdes was one of the best goalkeepers of his generation, proven in part by his three UEFA Champions League winner’s medals, and has reportedly called full-time on his footballing career at the age of 35.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

Valdes, who joined Barcelona at the age of 10 and went on to win six La Liga titles and two Copas del Rey to go with the three Champions League triumphs during his time at the club, will launch his own television production company, as well as his own show. Valdes made more than 500 appearances for Barca, beginning his first-team career in 2002 before moving to Manchester United in 2014.

If not for his career running perfectly parallel to that of Iker Casillas, Valdes would have won far more than his 20 caps for Spain during any other era, though he does have 2010 World Cup and 2012 European Championship winner’s medals. Valdes spent the 2016-17 Premier League season with Middlesbrough, starting 28 of 38 games during the club’s relegation season.

Watch Live: Middlesbrough vs. Watford (Lineups & Live Stream)

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Middlesbrough’s bright start to the season is long behind them, and with just a single point over the club’s last four matches, Boro has an opportunity to right the ship at home against Watford live at 8:30am E.T. on NBCSN or live online at NBCSports.com.

Boro was unbeaten through the season’s first three matches, picking up five points over that span and proving themselves a tenacious out. However, they then slumped to three straight losses and only a draw against West Ham heading into the international break saw the club break that spell without a point. Now sitting 17th, they can jump all the way to 12th with a win at home today.

WATCH LIVE: Middlesbrough vs. Watford via NBCSports.com

Gaston Ramirez and Cristhian Stuani both start after returning from international duty without any problems, and George Friend remains the captain in place of the injured Grant Leadbitter, who has not seen time yet this season after surgery to repair a hernia. Victor Valdes starts in goal for the fifth straight match, leaving American Brad Guzan on the bench.

Watford comes to Riverside Stadium with a slightly better league position, sitting 12th with eight points, but just a point over the final two matches before the break against Burnley and Bournemouth has surely left them disappointed and hungry for more.

Major summer signing Isaac Success has finally used the international break to recover in full, and makes his full debut for the club having only been seen in five separate substitute appearances this year on the back of his recovery from a leg injury. That problem kept him out of international duty over the break, although coach Walter Mazzerri has confirmed his full recovery, much to the disdain of the Nigerian Federation. Success’s introduction to the starting lineup comes at the expense of Odion Ighalo who has started every Premier League match thus far for the Hornets, but only has one goal to his name.


Middlesbrough: Valdes, Barragan, Chambers, Gibson, Friend, De Roon, Forshaw, Stuani, Ramirez, Downing, Negredo
Subs: Guzan, Ayala, Bernardo, Clayton, Fischer, Traore, Rhodes.

Watford: Gomes, Kaboul, Prödl, Britos; Amrabat, Capoue, Behrami, Holebas, Pereyra, Success, Deeney
Subs: Pantilimon, Mariappa, Guedioura, Zuniga, Watson, Ighalo, Kabasele.

Transfer Rumor Roundup: Chelsea for Gomes, Matuidi to Manchester

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Manchester United is having one heck of an offseason, as new boss Jose Mourinho has now added Henrikh Mkhitaryan to go with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly.

[ MORE: Atlanta lands Irish mid ]

And now comes a report from Goal.com that French midfielder Blaise Matuidi has been given time off from France’s preparation to face Germany in Thursday’s EURO 2016 semifinal to talk to United. A domino like that could cause several big names out of Old Trafford as well.

So how will other Premier League teams counter? Let’s sift through the rumors.

Chelsea wants 22-year-old Portugal wizard Andre Gomes, but reports say Valencia turned down a bid of approximately $52 million for the young gun. Spanish outlet Marca says Real Madrid and Barcelona are prepared to bid for Gomes as well.

Newcastle United attacker Moussa Sissoko is having a decent EURO with France, and has not been shy in stating his desire to play for Arsenal. But Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund are lurking in the weeds. Sources close to the Newcastle Chronicle say it will take an “astronomical bid” to land him, while the Championship club has already landed several players and is rumored to be close on Atletico Madrid’s Jesus Gamez.

On the heels of the news that Robin Van Persie could be returning to the Premier League with Middlesbrough, it seems another former Manchester United could also join Boro. Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes is said to be close to a deal.

Manchester United sends Victor Valdes to Standard Liege on loan

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Victor Valdes finally has relief from the total disaster his short Manchester United career became.

The Spaniard signed with the Red Devils in early January of last year after the expiry of his Barcelona contract, and while it initially appeared to be a positive signing, giving the club someone to push David De Gea, it soon broke down into a war of words between Valdes and Louis Van Gaal. Valdes refused to play for the reserve team, causing van Gaal to banish him from the training ground.

Manchester United announced Sunday that the 34-year-old has been loaned to Belgian club Standard Liege until the end of the season.

Even just a few hours after the announcement, Valdes already has some skeptics at his new club. “Personally, I’m a bit divided,” Standard winger Mathieu Dossevi told RTL Sports. “Obviously, Valdes is a very good player, a great player, but the signing was not where it was most needed. [Current Standard starting goalkeeper] Guillaume [Hubert] is a very good player for us at the moment, so why replace him?”

But there’s no guarantee that the signing is intended to replace Hubert. The loan move’s official release on Standard’s website read, “His arrival will be a great opportunity for our young goalkeepers to develop themselves. Victor will bring over his year-long experience and the youth will get advice of one of the best goalkeepers in the world in the next few months.”

Report: Victor Valdes to leave Man United via Standard Liege loan

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Victor Valdes wants out of Manchester in the very worst of ways.

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Having not made a single appearance for Manchester United since the end of the 2014-15 season, Valdes, a three-time UEFA Champions League winner while at Barcelona, has seen his career come to a screeching halt at Old Trafford after a behind-the-scenes feud with Louis Van Gaal.

How desperate is Valdes, a six-time La Liga champions while at Barcelona, to leave Man United? He’s reportedly considering a loan move to Belgian Pro League side Standard Liege in order to return to first-team action, according to a report in the Independent.

[ MORE: Wednesday’s transfer rumor roundup | Tuesday | Monday ]

Valdes was close to completing a similar move to Turkish Super Lig side Besiktas back in August, but the deal fell apart not long before the summer transfer deadline. The 34-year-old has just six months remaining on his contract at United, so even if a move fails to materialize during the January transfer window, Valdes will be free to sign anywhere in the summer.