Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City have received a huge setback in their battle to bring Victor Valdes to the Premier League as the goalkeeper is determined to go to Monaco, according to Spanish reports.
The 32-year-old's contract at the Camp Nou is due to expire at the end of the season and he recently confirmed that he wanted a fresh experience abroad, after being a crucial player in Barcelona's dominance over recent seasons.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Valdes, who is currently sidelined with a knee injury, has already decided to sign a four-year contract with Monaco, where he would be reunited with his ex-Barca team-mate Eric Abidal.
Monaco owner Dmitry Rybolovlev wants to keep building a strong team and sees Valdes as one of the key pieces of the jigsaw. The club is willing to pay him €12m per season.
Although the keeper attracted heavy interest from several teams in the Premier League - especially from City - the Spaniard has reportedly chosen France. However, 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."
City boss Manuel Pellegrini, who knows Valdes well from his time in La Liga, could have been crucial in Valdes' final decision to snub Monaco and move to the Premier League. But none of the English clubs that showed interest were able to seal the deal.
The Spanish international, who has remained completely insolated in order to focus on his recovery, misses the rest of the season and the summer World Cup in Brazil.