Spain international goalkeepers Iker Casillas of Real Madrid and Víctor Valdés of Barcelona, may both sensationally be heading to the English Premier League, after the 2014 World Cup next summer.
Víctor Valdés and Iker Casillas. The spotlight has been very much on both goalkeepers this season, with the strong suggestions that both may well be defending the goals of clubs other than Barcelona and Real Madrid next season.
Barcelona keeper Víctor Valdés has already made it clear that he won’t be staying with the Catalan club beyond the end of this season. The strong favourites for his signature so far, have appeared to be Monaco. Recently however, with English Premier League side Manchester City and manager Manuel Pellegrini have been linked with numerous options, as they draw up a list of possible replacements for the out of favour England goalkeeper, Joe Hart.
Pepe Reina, currently on-loan at Napoli from Liverpool, but with an attractively low buyout clause, is one of the targets said to be on the shortlist at Manchester City. Another often mentioned option is Argentine stopper Willy Caballero of Málaga. Iker Casillas of Real Madrid has also been mentioned on more than one occasion.
According to El Confidencial however, Víctor Valdés is apparently top of the wish-list for both Manuel Pellegrini and director of football Txiki Begiristain, who appears keen to put his Barcelona links to good use, by attempting to convincing the 31-year-old that Manchester City and the Premier League, should be his preferred destination, upon leaving Barcelona. The main obstacle however, may be the suggestions that Valdés perhaps favours Monaco at this stage, seeing the French club as a less pressured environment.
Meanwhile, though Manchester City have also been linked with unsettled Real Madrid and Spain captain Iker Casillas, Arsenal have now emerged as the strongest candidates to make a bid for his services next summer.
Clearly unhappy with what he considers a part-time role, sharing first-team obligations with Diego López at Real Madrid this season, Casillas has hinted on a number of occasions, that if he can’t be guaranteed a return to being considered the undisputed first-choice between the posts at the Santiago Bernabéu, he may have to look for a move elsewhere. Again, according to El Confidencial, with Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger looking to bring in a world class goalkeeper, Casillas and his unhappy situation at Real Madrid, is the focus of much interest to the London club.
After much criticism from Arsenal fans that they didn’t seem willing to go the extra yard, when it comes to making blockbuster signings, they promptly stunned everyone with the massive signing of Mesut Özil, also from Real Madrid. An instant hit with the Gunners fans and in the Premier League, Wenger is keento push the boat out again and secure another world class talent, that can offer more guarantees between the posts, than his current options offer.
Clearly both Spanish goalkeepers will continue to be the focus of much speculation between now and the summer, with numerous clubs linked with moves. However, the list of possible destinations for both keepers will be narrowed to just a handful, namely those who can afford to meet their sizeable salary expectations, whilst also offering the football challenges that both players have been accustomed to.