Valencia trio 'not sacked'

Club president wants long-serving players to fight for their place

Albelda: Not sacked

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Long-serving Valencia players David Albelda, Santiago Canizares and Miguel Angel Angulo have only been dropped, not sacked.

That is the view of club president Juan Soler, who wants the experienced trio to stay at Valencia and fight for their place.

Coach Ronald Koeman told the trio they no longer featured in his plans after the club lost out in Europe and fell off the Primera Liga pace.

This prompted Albelda and Canizares to believe they are being forced out and ask the club to release them from their contracts so they can seek transfers.

But Soler has since denied the trio - who have won more than 100 international caps between them - are being forced out of Valencia, who are currently in seventh place in La Liga, 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Technical

"It is a technical decision taken by Koeman. They haven't been separated from the squad, or sacked. They simply haven't been selected," Soler told a news conference on Friday.

He added: "This is the official version from the club. The coach said he did not count on them for now.

"No one has said they will not be recalled to the side again. I hope they will return to play for the club."

Soler compared the situation to that of Real Madrid last season, when Fabio Capello dropped some big names who then returned to the team.

He said: "These types of things have happened in other clubs. Real Madrid decided to get rid of Ronaldo, and dropped David Beckham, Raul and Guti last season and these same players ended up coming back to win them the league.

"It is a temporary situation. The people who hold the key to reversing the decision are the players. It is in the hands of the players and the coach."