Saturday 24 February 2018

Iker Casillas could become Arsenal's first signing - not Petr Cech

Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas
Real Madrid's goalkeeper Iker Casillas

Arsenal look set to make Real Madrid veteran Iker Casillas their first signing of the summer - and not the former Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech.

The London Evening Standard says Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is keeping tabs on the Spanish goalkeeper's situation at Real as Manchester United's David de Gea edges closer to a switch to the Bernabeu.

That would push Casillas down the pecking order in Madrid and persuade him to take up a fresh challenge, with Arsenal poised to make their move.

While Chelsea goalkeeper Cech has remained a long-standing target of theirs, they are still awaiting the outcome of the Czech international's meeting with Stamford Bridge officials before deciding on their next move.

Chelsea are reluctant to let their No 2 keeper leave to move against London while Manchester United are also keen to sign him.

A report in L'Equipe says that PSG have now ended their interest in Cech as they believe Arsenal have already got a move for him sewn up.

Cech has suggested that he wants to stay in London while Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said he would be open to a player swap in part exchange.

“I will decide based on what for me and my family was the best and it does not matter whether it is England, Germany, France and Spain,” Cech said.

“Next week we will have a meeting with Chelsea when the situation is clearer and all the cards are on the table. If I move, it brings difficulties. I must change everything, looking for housing, a school for children and so on.”

Southampton have had a £12m bid for Arsenal-target Grzegorz Krychowiak rejected - giving hope that the Gunners can still land their man.

Saints are keen to bring in a replacement for Morgan Schneiderlin - should he leave - and have made the Seville ace their top target.

Arsenal, who are keen on bringing Schneiderlin to the Emirates, could scupper their bid by also considering a move for the Polish international.

Krychowiak has a £21m buy-out clause and it is thought Southampton's initial bid was far below Seville's valuation.

Abou Diaby could yet be staying at Arsenal - despite the Frenchman apparently being released by the club.

Diaby's contract expires next month and yesterday he appeared on the Premier League's list of players being released.

However, correspondent for the Frenfch sports newspaper L’Equipe Bruno Constant believes Wenger has yet to shut the door fully on the Frenchman and is set to talk to the player about a potential new deal to stay, despite his terrible injury record in recent seasons.

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