Louis van Gaal outcast Victor Valdes may still have a future at Manchester United as Spanish newspaper El Pais has revealed that the club have an option to extend his contract before 30 May. The former Barcelona legend's contract at the Premier League giants is set to expire at the end of the current season but the club have an option to prolong it one further season due to a clause in his contract.
Valdes agreed a 18-month move to Manchester United in January 2015 after having been recovering from a long-term knee injury at the club training ground, thanks to his then strong relationship with van Gaal after the Dutch boss handed him his first team debut at Barcelona.
However, the pair fell out last summer after the manager claimed that the goalkeeper had refused to play with the Under-21 side, leaving him since out of the squad before sending him on loan to Standard Liege for the remaining of the campaign during the January transfer window.
El Pais, who has spoken with the keeper about his experience at Old Trafford and his new adventure in Belgium, denied the version of the Dutch manager over Valdes exiled while revealed that United still have an option to renew his contract before 30 May – although it is unlikely to happen should van Gaal remains in charge.
Valdes, meanwhile, didn't speak about that clause in the contract but said he hold no grudge against van Gaal, but will be forever "grateful" to the Dutch boss for handing him his first-team debut at Barcelona and later an opportunity to recover from his injury at United.
"Grudge (against Van Gaal)? Not at all. He gave me the opportunity to make my debut (at Barcelona), he took me when I had no team and offered me to recover from my knee injury. I will be forever grateful to him. At the end of the day, if were not for him, I would not be here," Valdes said.
El Pais claimed that the keeper and the manager's relationship broke down in the summer, when Valdes suffered a minor injury in the calf before the pre-season trip to United States. Van Gaal told him to stay at Manchester to recover and just days later claimed in a press conference that the keeper future at United was over because had had not accepted the philosophy of the club.
One way or another Valdes was frozen out from the United first-team, forcing to train alone while also not being allow to use the dressing room locker. Valdes explained to El Pais that he decided to move on, continue working on his own, waiting to have a new opportunity in the January transfer window.
The former Barcelona legend was linked with a move to other Premier League clubs and some La Liga sides but instead join to the eight-placed of the Belgium league. Some may think that is a step back in the career of a player that won three Champions League crowns at Barcelona, but Valdes explained: "It was this or in June going home and say goodbye to football. It was the only and the last chance of my sporting life. So I'm here."
"I was training alone (at United). Do you know what is that? Here I am happy just to be in the dressing room. For me (Standard) are the best club in the world."