Football

Liverpool line up Iker Casillas as Victor Valdes contingency plan

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Liverpool will turn to Real Madrid icon and long-term Arsenal target Iker Casillas if their move for Spanish rival Victor Valdes does not prove successful, it seems.

With significant worries having developed at Anfield with regard to the form of current first-choice goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, the Reds have been continually linked with a potential deal for Valdes, the former Barcelona stalwart who is yet to find a new club after leaving the Nou Camp when his contract expired at the end of last season.

32-year-old Valdes is believed to be set to embark on a trial at Liverpool after being sidelined for the past six months with anterior cruciate ligament damage suffered during the Catalans' victory over Celta Vigo in March and the Daily Express report that if a switch to Merseyside does not materialise for the experienced stopper, then Brendan Rodgers will instead seek to secure a loan deal for Casillas.

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- Arsenal's Iker Casillas pursuit to be questioned by fans

Fall from grace

Former undisputed first-choice 'keeper Casillas has endured quite an emphatic fall from grace in recent years.

After evidently suffering a disagreement with volatile former manager Jose Mourinho during the Portuguese's eventful spell in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu, the 33-year-old was subsequently unceremoniously dropped to the substitutes' bench and has never quite managed to regain his starting berth on a regular basis under successor Carlo Ancelotti.

Relied upon to perform in the cup competitions and indeed in the Champions League, it seemed that Casillas was no longer required for La Liga duty with Diego Lopez generally preferred between the posts. 

And while Casillas has made five appearances in the competition during the early stages of the new campaign following Lopez's departure to AC Milan, it seems only a matter of time before Keylor Navas - who joined Real from top-flight rivals Levante this summer after a fairytale World Cup run with plucky minnows Costa Rica - establishes himself at the top of the goalkeeping pecking order in the Spanish capital.

Arsenal interest

Such a humiliating demotion after a long and interrupted stint as the club's trusty last line of defence obviously displeased Casillas and reports last month suggested that Arsenal could be set to re-ignite their pursuit of the Spain captain when the transfer window re-opens in January.

If the Gunners do resume that particular chase and Valdes does not complete his proposed move to Liverpool, then it appears that Casillas could be faced with an intriguing choice in the new year.

Does he stay with the club with whom he has spent his entire career to date or rather does he opt for the Premier League before it is too late?

If he chooses the latter, then it could be that Liverpool would hold more appeal purely in footballing terms with Mignolet visibly struggling and David Ospina already providing suitable back-up to Wojciech Szczesny at the Emirates Stadium.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Real Madrid
Iker Casillas
La Liga
Liverpool
Football

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