Arsene Wenger’s summer of frustration shows no sign of abating, with reports that Iker Casillas and Yohan Cabaye will escape Arsenal’s clutches ahead of transfer deadline day.
Casillas emerged as a shock transfer target for the Gunners after he was left out of Real Madrid’s starting XI for the opening game of the season, but Ben Jefferson of the Daily Express reports that El Mundo Deportivo expects the goalkeeper to join either Barcelona or Manchester United.
"According to El Mundo Deportivo if a deal to send Casillas to United can be agreed Barcelona will move for (David) De Gea," per the report.
The Spanish news outlet also claims a meeting was arranged between Casillas’ representatives and Barcelona’s hierarchy on Tuesday, during which the reigning La Liga champions attempted to convince him to perform the biggest switch in Spanish football since Luis Figo moved in the opposite direction.
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Casillas’ most likely move would be to United rather than Barcelona, as he has developed a long love affair with Madrid’s support base during his 15-year spell with the club.
United boss David Moyes is still assessing the squad he inherited from Sir Alex Ferguson, and the jury may still be out on the ever-improving De Gea, who looked shaky upon his arrival in English football. Casillas is also said to prefer a switch to the Premier League should he leave the Bernabeu.
John Drayton of the Daily Mail claims Arsenal are being put off by Madrid’s valuation of the Spain international, which is reported to be in the region of £15 million. Drayton says Arsenal only want to pay £8 million for the keeper.
And the news on Newcastle midfielder Cabaye also does not look good for Arsenal, who could be beaten to his signature by PSG, according to the Daily Mail’s Colin Young: "Arsenal bid £12 million on Sunday for Cabaye, 27, but PSG may be prepared to offer as much as £20 million for the cultured midfielder."
The Gunners are preparing for the first leg of their Champions League playoff with Fenerbahce, which kicks off on Wednesday evening, and Wenger was in spiky mood when asked about the approach for Cabaye in Tuesday’s press conference. A report by James Olley in The Independent provides the quotes:
You have your opinions. First of all, you don't know what we have done, you don't know if we did bid and you have come to a conclusion without knowing everything that has happened. It's quite amazing that all of the people don't know and yet they always have opinions about things they don't know.
I won't explain to you what happened. It's not down to me to explain to you everything I do. It's impossible. If we do a transfer we will announce it. We always inform you. As for the rest, you have to leave us to do our own things.
Arsenal have a crucial stage of their season ahead of them, with Wednesday’s European tie followed by a tough away trip to Fulham before they head into a North London derby with free-spending Tottenham in their next Premier League match.