Arsenal buoyed by Real Madrid star’s hint of a transfer move this summer.
Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas in the last week in both the English and Spanish press, and the rumour seemingly refuses to die down.
Spanish sports publication AS headline their piece on the Spain international with “Casillas receives offers to go,” and state that the Gunners will battle Liverpool for his signature this summer.
Casillas has been a fine servant to Real Madrid, but his feud with Jose Mourinho has been well documented, and the shot stopper hasn’t played for the club since a Copa Del Rey match in January, though that may be partly attributed to a fractured hand suffered around that time.
The 31 year-old has since recovered though, and shows no sign of regaining his place ahead of Diego Lopez in the team – despite his pedigree and more natural talent.
It seems that it has come to a breaking point for Casillas, and the shot-stopper is quoted in AS as telling friends, “If this keeps up, I will have to have a change of scenery.”
Naturally, Arsene Wenger is interested in bringing such a world class star to Emirates Stadium, particularly with so much uncertainty in the goalkeeping position at the north London club.
Wojciech Szczesny was first choice up until last month, when he was dropped for the Gunners’ crucial UEFA Champions League match against Bayern Munich along with captain Thomas Vermaelen.
Since then, Arsenal have performed rather better, though Szczesny’s replacement Lukasz Fabianski demonstrated he is no solid option either with a concerning display against Reading.
AS state that Wenger will table a €20 million bid for Casillas (approximately £17.1 million), but the future of the World Cup and double European Championship winner may depend on the fate of Jose Mourinho at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.
Put simply – if Mourinho stays, the goalkeeper may elect to move on in search of first team football, as suggested in his words to friends above.
Casillas is undoubtedly a world class talent – as his trophy cabinet proves – but there remain doubts on his adaptability to English football.
Certainly his reflexes are arguably second to none in the game, but his height of 6’0″ is not particularly tall for a goalkeeper, and against some of the more physical and direct teams in the Barclays Premier League this might prove an issue.
Besides a brief line suggesting Liverpool retain interest in Casillas, the Merseyside club are not mentioned again in AS’s story, so it could perhaps be assumed that Arsenal’s interest is more concrete.