As the summer transfer window approaches, there are many football clubs in the market for a new goalkeeper. Arsenal and Barcelona are among the most noteworthy clubs in search of a reliable man to play between the posts, and there are several more sides with similar needs.
The summer of 2013 promises to be a good one for those clubs, as a number of up-and-coming shot stoppers are approaching readiness for the next step in their respective careers, while some more experienced No. 1s are looking for new challenges.
Click "Begin Slideshow" for a rundown of some of the most coveted goalkeepers in the market this summer, and a look at where they might find themselves at the start of next season.
It is no secret that Arsenal are in the market for a new goalkeeper, and according to Mirror, Rene Adler is among the leading candidates to take a position between the posts for the Gunners next season.
The 28-year-old Adler served as Germany's No. 1 goalkeeper before the 2010 World Cup, but a rib injury saw him lose his place to Manuel Neuer. He missed all of last season due to a knee injury, but has since turned over a new leaf at Hamburg.
Adler has a contract with HSV that runs until 2017, but Hamburg have a record for selling even key players when sufficiently substantial bids are offered. Both Arsenal and Hamburg still have a long way to go if they are to earn a spot in the Champions League next season, which perhaps is why the link between Adler and Arsenal is still in its infancy—as of yet, HSV have received no offer, according to sporting director Frank Arnesen.
If Hamburg fail to finish fourth, however, Adler will be a hot commodity not only for Arsenal, but potentially many other clubs. The ex-Leverkusen man was once Germany's brightest goalkeeping prospect, and despite a difficult spell in recent years, his performances this season have shown his class. Still 28, he has many years left at a high level and deserves to play in the Champions League.
Chelsea have a bit of a conundrum in goal, with Petr Cech still a few years before his natural decline and Thibaut Courtois—one of Europe's brightest goalkeeping prospects—simultaneously under contract.
Courtois has played on loan at Atletico Madrid for two seasons and has a contract with Chelsea that won't expire until 2016. His impressive form for Atleti suggests he's ready for a step up, and he recently stated his intent to play for the Blues in 2013-14.
Cech is still only 30 years of age, however, and Chelsea will have to decide whether to give Courtois a starting role, risk falling out with the Belgian by sending him on loan to a smaller club, or risk losing him in the long term by loaning him to a larger club. It certainly is a tricky situation.
Barcelona have been linked with Courtois as a possible replacement for Victor Valdes, via Mirror. If FCB's interest is indeed true, that alone is a huge vote of confidence in the ability of the 20-year-old, who seems to have a very bright future ahead of him.
Two years ago, Maarten Stekelenburg was one of the most coveted goalkeepers in Europe. When Roma signed him from Ajax, it was believed to have been a great coup for the Italian side.
Things have changed for the Dutch goalkeeper this season, however. The 54-times-capped Netherlands international missed a month due to injury, then spent eight matches on the Roma bench as Mauro Goicoechea claimed his starting role.
Stekelenburg had hoped for a loan move to Fulham in January, but that opportunity collapsed. The goalkeeper is still aiming for a departure, allegedly due to his having still not yet settled in Italy, and is supposedly in talks once more with Fulham according to Express.
Given Stekelenburg's situation at Roma, it would be a great surprise if other clubs did not join the race for his signature. Still 30 years of age, he has experience but plenty of time left at a high level.
Little over a week after his 21st birthday, Marc-Andre ter Stegen is one of Europe's most exciting and impressive goalkeeping prospects.
The Monchengladbach-born stopper made his professional debut at the age of 18, and his impressive performances last season saw him earn his first cap last May, just 26 days after his 20th birthday.
Ter Stegen has had another strong season at Gladbach, and his performances have allegedly caught the eye of Barcelona. Marca reported earlier this year that the Catalan giants had signed a pre-agreement with the goalkeeper, who will move to Camp Nou in 2014.
Whether Victor Valdes leaves Barcelona this season or when his contract expires at the end of next season may affect Ter Stegen's future at Barca, and of course there remains time for other clubs to make moves even if there is an agreement in place. And if Ter Stegen continues on his current trajectory, there surely will be more interest.
Victor Valdes recently announced that he will not renew his contract with Barcelona, which is set to expire in 2014. With three Champions League titles, a World Cup and the European Championship trophy to his name, the decorated goalkeeper has few rivals in terms of experience and silverware earned.
At 31 years of age, Valdes still has several years left before he can consider retiring. In light of this fact and his status as an enormously seasoned veteran, he is a hot commodity on the transfer market.
Arsenal have allegedly jumped at the chance to sign the Spain international, via the Express, although Barcelona are reluctant to sell. FCB vice-president Josep Maria Bartomeu recently explained that Barca "prefer to run out the contract until June 2014 rather than sell him this summer."
Bartomeu's words have not deterred Anzhi from stepping into the race to sign Valdes. The Russian side are allegedly prepared to make a mega-offer of £160,000-a-week for the player according to Mirror, while Barca are reportedly willing to accept a transfer fee in the region of £12 million.