Arsenal Transfer Rumours: Breaking Down Arsenal's Pursuit of Keeper Targets

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 21, 2013

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 29:  Iker Casillas of Spain in action during a training session, ahead of their FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 Final match against Brazil, at the Maracana Stadium on June 29, 2013 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

Right now, being an Arsenal fan is akin to being a little kid in his room, grounded, looking out the window jealously while all of the other kids are laughing and running around and having a lovely time with their new transfer signings. 

"If only we could just sign a striker, or a defensive midfielder, or a centre-back or darn it, a keeper! And depth—we need depth," Gooners say, pouting in one breath and kicking rocks the next. 

Of course, there is no shortage of rumours linking Arsenal to this player or that, and on Wednesday, the theme seems to be focused on the keepers.

After watching Wojciech Szczesny make a few head-scratching decisions against Aston Villa, Gooners will surely invite those rumours with open arms.

John Drayton of the Daily Mail gets us started off with a juicy rumour involving Real Madrid's legendary keeper, Iker Casillas:

Arsenal are considering a dramatic move for Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas as they step up their pursuit of a replacement for error-prone Wojciech Szczesny. 

The Spain captain is known to be unsettled at the Bernabeu after losing his automatic place in the first team under Jose Mourinho and the Gunners are keeping a close eye on his situation. 

Of course, there is a kicker, and not surprisingly, that kicker is money:

Although Arsene Wenger is keen on Casilllas, the stumbling block could be his price. Casillas is 32 and ever-prudent Arsenal do not want to pay big money for a move knowing full well they cannot sell him on. 

They would consider a fee of around £8million but fear Madrid would not listen to offers below the £15m mark.

Sometimes I forget that Arsenal is one of the wealthiest soccer clubs in the world, because they act like they have the financial freedom of a college student on a ramen noodle diet. 

John Cross of Mirror Football throws a few more names into the hat:

[Arsenal] are set to make a new bid for France international midfielder [Yohan] Cabaye, while Mirror Sport understands they are now desperate to sign a goalkeeper, with Stoke’s Asmir Begovic back on the agenda.

Arsenal are holding talks with Valencia's Vicente Guaita, they have also got Espanyol’s Kiko Casilla on their radar, but there is a determination to make one last push for Begovic.

If they cannot persuade Stoke to sell the 26-year-old, they will most likely go for Guaita, also 26.

Tancredi Palmeri of CNN has more on Guaita:

The move for Guaita may be mooted, however, as Ben Hayward of is reporting that the Gunners walked away from the negotiating table after Valencia slapped a €20 million valuation on the player.

This is hardly surprising—Arsenal wouldn't bid a coin for a wish if they were standing next to a wishing well. Obviously, €20 million is pricey, but at some point, the Gunners are going to have to realize they're going to have to overpay to land elite talent. 

That's how the transfer window works these days, Arsene Wenger, no matter how ridiculous you think it may be. 

I think it is safe to say Begovic would be the popular choice among Gooners, as he was spectacular last season for Stoke City and has many years of top-notch football ahead of him. 

Casilllas is of course the biggest name, but there are reasons to be concerned with his potential signing. For one, at 32, he is surely far from seeing a major decline in his game but is also no young pup, a consideration when you take into account his price tag. 

There is a reason he fell out of favor with Jose Mourinho and didn't get the start in Carlo Ancelotti's debut as Real Madrid manager.

Once a no-brain selection, Casilllas is no longer a lock to start for Los Blancos. That surely has to raise some questions about his level of play and will surely result in Arsenal low-balling Real Madrid to trollish levels if they make a bid. 

It remains to be seen if Real Madrid will describe any Arsenal bid as "derisory," everyone's favorite word this summer. 

Guaita or Casilla won't move the needle like Begovic or Casillas, but both would challenge Szczesny for his starting place and perhaps inspire the Polish incumbent to add a bit of consistency to his game. 

Of course, with Guaita probably being pushed to the back-burner, Casilllas is sure to be too pricey and the fact that Begovic could have been signed much earlier and never was perhaps makes Casilla the most likely addition. 

Scratch that—given the way this summer has gone, the most likely addition is a man the Beatles sang about and the player Arsenal may have to be satisfied with given their transfer approach:

Nowhere Man. 

Hit me up on Twitter—Arsenal tried to low-ball the value of my tweets on several occasions. 

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