Football

Arsenal step up interest in Real Madrid star Iker Casillas

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Arsenal are ready to step up their interest in Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas to compensate for the loss of David Ospina., reports the Daily Star. 

Ospina arrived at the Emirates Stadium in the summer with the intention of challenging Wojciech Szczesny for the number on jersey. However, he has been restricted to just two appearances thus far and is likely to miss the rest of 2014 with a thigh injury.

The recurring problem is of grave concern to Arsene Wenger, and he is ready to renew his attempts to sign Casillas from Real Madrid as a result. The 33-year-old had been strongly linked with a move to the Gunners in the summer, but has since won his place back in Carlo Ancelotti's team.

Future in doubt

But there are still doubts as to whether Casillas can remain at the required standard for much longer. The goalkeeper has had a patchy 18 months and is still far from his best despite returning to first team action.

Earning a reported £120,000-a-week at Real Madrid, Florentino Perez is thought to be considering a replacement in the near future. Selling Casillas to Arsenal would give generate some of the money required to move for his first choice target.

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The knock on effect

That target is believed to be David de Gea, who is approaching the last 18 months of his Manchester United contract. The Spanish goalkeeper has been one of few positive points for Louis van Gaal so far this season and the United boss is keen to tie him down to a new contract.

Reports claimed that Manchester United had offered him a deal worth £120,000-a-week, but De Gea wants to wait to see if the Red Devils can break back into the Champions League. If they fail De Gea could refuse to sign a new contract, leaving Van Gaal with the difficult decision on whether to cash in on or lose him for free in 2016.

Real Madrid think £20 million would be enough to tempt Manchester United in to selling, so long as De Gea doesn't agree a new contract. However, this is all reliant on Arsenal agreeing a deal with Casillas, who recently stated a desire to finish his career where it started.

Casillas wants to stay

He is quoted by the same report as saying: “There’s always speculation here but after all the stories, the rumours, I’m still here.

“There’s never been a chance for me to go anywhere else because I’ve never thought about it.

"All the presidents I’ve had have said: ‘The day you don’t want to be here, just come and tell me.’ And I’m still here. It started here and I want it to finish here."

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Topics:
Manchester United
David de Gea
Arsenal
Premier League
Real Madrid
Iker Casillas
Football

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