Barcelona Transfer Rumours: Why David De Gea Makes More Sense Than Iker Casillas
One of the summer’s more surprising transfer stories suggests long-serving Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas could be on his way to Barcelona.
The 32-year-old, who first represented Los Blancos in 1999, has become irritated with life at the Bernabeu and could head to the Camp Nou for a career resurgence, according to Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.
Although Casillas is a world-class goalkeeper and an era-defining player for both club and country across the last decade, his potential transfer to Barcelona simply doesn’t fit. As reported by BBC Sport, La Blaugrana are well aware of Victor Valdes’ intention to quit the Catalan side at the end of the current season.
Even so, the acquisition of Casillas only provides a short-term fix to a lingering problem. If Barca are to replace Valdes, they need a player who is going to replicate his 11 years of service and stability. At 32, Casillas is not that man.
The ideal candidate resides in Manchester. After a difficult start to his Premier League career, David De Gea has become an integral part of the Old Trafford club’s future. As per Perrin’s report, Premier League interest in Casillas could see De Gea head to Barcelona once Valdes’ current contract expires:
Casillas is reportedly considering his future and is thought to be of the view that if he leaves Real his only option is to move to the Premier League.
And according to El Mundo Deportivo if a deal to send Casillas to United can be agreed Barcelona will move for De Gea. De Gea is a long-term target for Barcelona with Victor Valdes stepping down at the end of the season after refusing to sign a new contract at the Camp Nou.
Gerardo Martino would be extremely wise to quash rumours surrounding Barca and Casillas. He has until May to outline replacements for his current No. 1 and shouldn’t be forced into a rash decision during the current transfer window.
Barcelona’s potential acquisition of Casillas would conjure up one of the most controversial transfers in recent times. Any player making the leap between Barca and Madrid is subjected to intense pressure from both camps, and at this stage in his career, Casillas will only be up for the challenge in the immediate future.
De Gea has already shown himself to be a resilient individual who can triumph above those berating him.
The 22-year-old has faced much criticism from the English press, but that hasn’t stopped him from keeping his head and working hard. Such assertiveness and confidence in his own skill is something Martino knows all about.
Martino has already showed impressive qualities as Barcelona coach and continues to influence the team’s style of free-flowing, attacking play. Although the Spanish champions have long been defined by their ability to retain possession, Martino’s tactics has seen Barcelona push forward with greater intensity and look to cut through opponents with relentless pressure.
Moves are quicker, transitions smoother and morale appears to be increasing with every game, as highlighted in Cesc Fabregas’ revitalised rise to prominence.
This is an atmosphere that De Gea would thrive in. The ball-playing goalkeeper is a modern footballer whose passing ability and willingness to start attacking moves from the back adheres to Barca’s philosophy.
Who should Barcelona sign to replace Victor Valdes?
More pressingly, De Gea’s shot-stopping effectiveness often plucks his team out of trouble. Although unorthodox, he is the kind of player who manages to find a solution to most problems, even at the onset of his career. Manchester United fans will reminisce about De Gea’s stunning save from Juan Mata’s free-kick in the 2011/12 Premier League season and recall a player who is often judged too harshly for his age.
Barcelona’s potential interest shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Catalonia is home to Spain’s finest talent, both established and emerging. This is something Martino must continue to build in the coming years, starting with the dismissal of Casillas rumours and outlining of transfer targets that can light up the Camp Nou for years to come, such as the current Manchester United stopper.
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