Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes' contract expires at the end of the season. Getty

Espanyol have denied claims they are on the brink of completing a deal to sign outcast Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes. The former Barcelona shot stopper was exiled by manager Louis van Gaal during the summer after he allegedly refused to play for the club's Under-21 ranks. Valdes has not featured in a single match-day squad this season and has been tipped to leave Old Trafford as soon as the January transfer window opens.

Sevilla and Valencia have distanced themselves from reports suggesting they will offer the 32-year-old a return to his homeland but, claimed Espanyol are close to signing him on a free transfer.

However, Espanyol officials have told Catalan daily Sport there is no truth to those reports.

Valdes had been expected to leave United following Van Gaal's public condemnation and was linked with moves to Turkish sides Antalyaspor and Besiktas. A return to Spain to join Sevilla was also suggested by Sport, only for club president Pepe Castro to immediately come out and deny talk of a move for the ex-Barcelona custodian.

Owing to the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in March 2014 and current Old Trafford exile, Valdes has played just two competitive first-team games in the last 20 months.

His teammate and compatriot Ander Herrera still believes, however, the goalkeeper can find his way back to the top.

Asked about the situation during an interview with Catalunya Radio, Herrera said: "I think he still has room to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world again. I think that just before his injury he was the best in the world. And he is working hard to recover that form.

"His relationship with the manager is between them and I'm not anyone to discuss that. I can talk about him as his teammate and friend and I'm sure he will be again what he was. Surely in the January market he will find a team to prove again what he is capable of as he is training for it."