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Manchester City will sign Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes next season after beating Monaco to his signature, according to French reports.
The Catalan keeper announced in January that he will leave the Camp Nou when his contract runs out at the end of the current season and, according to the newspaper L'Equipe, he was close to accepting Monaco's offer.
However the French newspaper believes the hug that Valdes gave Joe Hart last week after the second leg of the Champions League last 16 shows he is bound for Manchester instead.
City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who knows Valdes well from his time in La Liga, and the rest of City's Spanish contingent could have been crucial in Valdes' final decision to snub Monaco and move to the Premier League.
City's chief executive Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain know Valdes from their time at Barca and that gives the club a distinct advantage. Valdes has also admitted that a move to the Premier League would be a "very good option" for him - although Liverpool have also been interested.
Although the 32-year-old will refuse to confirm his destination until the end of the season, he recently praised the Premier League, saying: "There are traditions like applauding the opposing keeper. It is another footballing culture, one I have always identified with."