Arsenal hope to persuade Iker Casillas to quit Real Madrid for the Premier League this summer, according to reports in Spain.
AS claim that Arsene Wenger will try to tempt the Madrid captain away from Santiago Bernabeu by offering him guaranteed first team football, rather than the job share Casillas has had to endure at Madrid with Diego Lopez.
Casillas is understood to be content to remain at the club despite playing only 24 times last season but Wenger will use the goalkeeper’s close friends Santi Cazorla and Mesut Ozil to sell him on the merits of the Gunners.
It was previously reported that Casillas and President Florentino Perez had agreed that Casillas would remain at the club but Casillas had considered leaving in the winter transfer window.
The future of Lopez is also a factor as Napoli asked about him, only for his agent to reply he isn’t looking to leave the Champions League winners.
AS add that Casillas’ contract, signed in 2008 when Ramon Calderon was President, calls for Casillas’ salary to decrease year on year.
Casillas has a buyout of €180m, which would preclude Arsenal forcing a move by triggering the clause, and would also need to make Casillas a substantial contract offer as it would likely be the last of his career.
It’s claimed Wenger will make a final effort to sign Casillas, having turned to the Spain skipper after Jose Mourinho blocked an attempt to take Petr Cech from Chelsea.
If Madrid are similarly firm in rejecting an approach for Casillas, Wenger could turn to Malaga’s Willy Caballero. Hugo Lloris of Tottenham Hotspur and St. Etienne’s Stephane Ruffier are also under consideration.