Almunia ponders passport poser

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Football News

Arsenal goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is considering an application for a British passport and would not rule out playing for England one day.

The Spaniard joined the Gunners from Celta Vigo during July 2004, and so under residency laws would soon be eligible to apply to become a naturalised British citizen.

"Maybe I will get a passport, then after, if I get the call-up [from England], I will think about this," Almunia said.

Despite being a regular in the Champions League - and indeed playing in the 2006 final against Barcelona when Jens Lehmann was sent off - Almunia has, so far, not been called up to the Spain team.

Former England keepers Peter Shilton and Ray Clemence have voiced concerns about the possibility of Almunia, who turns 32 later this year, eventually replacing David James as the England number one.

While any application is not about to be processed imminently, there remains genuine possibility Almunia would be available for selection to England coach Fabio Capello - or indeed any of the other home nations - in time for the build-up to the 2010 World Cup.

"People are asking this question now because I have been in England for five years and am able to apply for a passport," Almunia said in a webchat with, sponsored by EA Sports.

"I am taking in the information, what I need to do for a passport.

"In think, for January next year, maybe I can have the permission."

Meanwhile, the Gunners hope to welcome back captain Cesc Fabregas after this weekend's international break following more than three months out with a knee problem, as the squad prepare for the defining period of their campaign.

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European News
David James
Jens Lehmann
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
UEFA Champions League
Ray Clemence
Peter Shilton

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