He’s won an MLS Cup, an MLS MVP award, three MLS Best XI and four All-Star nods in green and gold, a veritable icon for both club and city. But could Diego Valeri’s days as a Portland Timber be numbered?
That’s what many in the Rose City are buzzing about this week in the wake of reports that Valeri has reached an impasse in his contract renewal talks with the Timbers, and the Argentinean playmaker didn’t exactly scotch all that talk in his remarks to the media after Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution.
“I will talk about all this, about my contract situation, after the regular season or after the season is done,” Valeri told reporters. “We have a couple of important games to play so it doesn’t make sense for me.
“Respecting my teammates, our supporters – I don’t think it’s a great idea to talk about that. For me too, I want to be focused on finishing the regular season. It doesn’t make sense. We will talk about that later when the season is done.”
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Fans were dismayed to see the 33-year-old visit the Timbers Army’s capo stand in the north end of Providence Park postgame, a gesture some framed as a farewell of sorts from the veteran, despite the Timbers still having one more home game this season:
Valeri came up on the capo stand and said goodbye. I feel broken. #RCTID— Matthew Lindley (@MLindleyMusic) September 26, 2019
Meanwhile head coach Giovanni Savarese expressed his desire to keep Valeri in Portland.
“There’s no doubt that we would love for him to stay here,” Savarese said. “I personally would love to have him again for many more years and to retire here. He’s a quality player, he’s done a lot for this club, and today he again performed at a great level. Right now, it’s about what he’s been doing, helping us to try to make the playoffs, so that’s a conversation we can have furthermore because everyone wants him to stay here.”