Football

Arsenal plot move for Real Madrid star Iker Casillas

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Arsenal are plotting an ambitious bid to sign Real Madrid and Spain legend Iker Casillas, reports Spanish newspaper AS.

The 33-year-old has been the second choice goalkeeper at the Bernabeu for 18 months following the addition of Diego Lopez in January 2013.

Then-manager Jose Mourinho had decided to keep Lopez as Real Madrid's first choice goalkeeper; a decision that was maintained by new manager Carlo Ancelotti. Casillas was given the opportunity to play in the Champions League and cup games, but did not play a single minute of La Liga football.

Despite playing 21 games, Casillas is keen to see the situation change and, despite being reluctant to leave his boyhood club, is willing to consider a move to the Premier League if promises can't be made regarding his position in the team.

Winning La Decima has helped to convince Casillas that his future lies in Spain's capital but Arsene Wenger is hoping his strong Spanish contingent of Nacho Monreal, Santi Cazorla and Mikel Arteta can coax him to the Emirates.

There are massive obstacles in the way for Arsenal in the pursuit of the player, not least the fact the player has a €180 million release clause and a net salary of €160,000-a-week, but Wenger is keen to gauging whether or not Casillas would want to move to the Premier League to become a Gunner.

Casillas still has three-years left on his contract at the Bernabeu but faces a deteriorating wage packet as part of the agreement. Next season will see him earn €500,000-a-season less and the pattern continues until his terms expire in 2017.

Signing a new goalkeeper is a priority for Arsenal after Wenger failed to convince Lukasz Fabianski to sign a new deal with the club. Fabianski could not breach the first team ahead of Wojciech Szczesny and left in search of first team football.

Emiliano Viviano also returned to Palermo after a forgetful season-long loan spell in which he failed to make an appearance for the Gunners. That leaves Szczesny as the only recognised goalkeeper currently at Arsenal.

The problem for Szczesny, 24, is that if Casillas does sign, he would most likely go straight into the number one spot and Wenger would be left with the same problem he had with Fabianski. Szczesny is highly rated in north London and keeping him for the long term should remain the priority for Wenger.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Iker Casillas
Football
Premier League
Real Madrid

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