Barcelona insist that they will happily keep hold of keeper Victor Valdes beyond the 2013 summer, with the club saying they could let him go on a free at the end of next season, despite Arsenal reportedly showing interest in purchasing the Spain international.

Valdes admitted at the start of the year that he would not be signing a new deal with the Catalan giants, and is believed to be looking for a new challenge, possibly in the Premier League.

While the stopper will certainly be wanted at multiple clubs across Europe, boasting a CV to make the vast majority of footballers wildly jealous, Arsenal are believed to be the main club interested in bringing the 31 year old to London.

But Barcelona vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu insists that his side aren't necessarily interested in selling Valdes this summer, even if he does leave for free the year after.

Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes might stay at Barcelona beyond the 2013 summer, whether he signs a contract or not.

"[President Sandro] Rosell has had contact with Valdes to make it clear that we have to leave the doors open [on him changing his mind]," he explained, according to the Daily Mail.

"As we prioritise sporting aspects, we prefer to run out the contract until June 2014 rather than sell him this summer.

"We have no deadline in Valdes' case, one option is to run to the end of his contract and in that case we will not sign a goalkeeper [this summer]."

Arsenal have reportedly been on the lookout for a stopper with Wojciech Szczesny continuing to display inconsistent form. The keeper has been Wenger's undisputed number one until the current season, where the manager has been forced to bring in Lukasz Fabianski on regular occasions, leaving his compatriot on the bench.

Valdes could present the perfect solution for Wenger, with the World Cup winner capable of handling the pressure on the biggest stages.

Arsenal and Barcelona certainly have a long transfer history with one another, but the current La Liga title holders are clearly ready to play hard ball if the Gunners hope to come in and swoop for their number one stopper, whether he signs a new deal or not.