Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has today revealed that he fully expects goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen to remain at the club this summer.
Cillessen, a 29-year-old Dutch international, has been on the books of Barca since 2016, when he joined the club from Eredivisie giants Ajax.
However, to this point, he has managed just two La Liga starts over the course of his two seasons at the Camp Nou, with German Marc-André ter Stegen having established himself as the Blaugrana’s undisputed first-choice.
As such, Cillessen has been restricted to Copa Del Rey duties for the Catalans, with rumours having long linked the NEC youth product with a departure from the club as a result.
Despite his 2nd-choice status at Barca, Cillessen is nevertheless highly-regarded by most, with the shot-stopper having racked up 40 caps for the Netherlands to this point in his career.
Seeking an exit
A report from Spanish outlet Onda Cero back in June suggested that all of Arsenal, Liverpool and Napoli had already tabled offers for Cillessen, with Chelsea also named as admirers of the Dutchman’s talents.
In addition, a further update from reliable journalist Gerard Romero a short time later revealed that one of Cillessen’s numerous suitors could well see their pursuit bear fruit this summer, amid claims that the Nijmegen native had decided to seek a new challenge over the coming weeks.
☎ Jasper Cillesen quiere SALIR sí o sí este verano del Barça. Quiere protagonismo, quiere minutos, quiere sentirse importante. Lo ha contado a sus allegados. Claúsula de 40M. Contado en @EsportsRAC1 #mercato ☎
— Gerard Romero (@gerardromero) June 11, 2018
‘Idea is to have two good goalkeepers’
But, with just weeks remaining in the La Liga transfer window, Cillessen has, to this point, remained at the Camp Nou, with the rumours surrounding his name having died down after the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool secured goalkeeping reinforcements.
And Ernesto Valverde has today revealed that the Dutchman remains ‘happy’ in Catalunya, despite his second-choice status between the posts, and that he expects to have Cillessen to call on come the beginning of the new season:
‘My idea is to have two good goalkeepers, the two we have now, Marc and Jasper.’
‘It’s true that [Cillessen has] not played as much as Marc, but that’s what being a goalkeeper can be like.’
‘He knows what I think. I don’t think he will be hard work if he stays – we are very happy with his professionalism and his attitude. We hope he stays with us and is happy here.’