Hamburg goalkeeper Rene Adler has revealed he has twice rejected a move to Premier League side Arsenal in the past, but would be open to a move should the chance come in the future.
The 28-year-old played for Bayer Leverkusen for 12 seasons until a free transfer move to Hamburg last summer, having lost his first-team place to rising star Bernd Leno.
Links with Arsenal have long since existed, and Adler has told German media he would like a move to England. Per the Metro's Jamie Sanderson:
When I was 15 there was the opportunity to move to Arsenal, but I decided to go to Leverkusen to get a professional contract there.
There was also contact after the Under-20 World Cup in the Netherlands. I played against Lionel Messi and some other big names and there was contact with Arsenal.
I’d like to play in England in the future. You can’t say never in football. Football in England is some kind of religion. The fans, the culture behind the big clubs is very interesting. It’s a big honour for me if a club like Arsenal are interested in me.
Whether Arsenal need Adler at present is the question. Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has been in good form this season, while alternative options on the market include Real Madrid's Iker Casillas, per Charles Perrin of the Daily Express.
Adler, though, clearly believes there is a desire from the English club to see him arrive in London and has made clear his availability should they choose to make a play for his services.
With his place as backup to Manuel Neuer virtually secured ahead of next summer's World Cup in Brazil, Adler is highly regarded within German football and has long been a confident figure between the goalposts—with his excellent reactions a strength of his game.
However, for Arsenal to justify what Sanderson reports would be a €4 million move, there would need to be confidence that Adler represents a major improvement on the club's existing options.
Prior to the start of the season, loanee Emiliano Viviano arrived at the club, although he was widely viewed as the backup to Poland international Szczesny.
Viviano is yet to make his way into the Gunners side, with Szczesny having responded well to the increased competition, producing a string of excellent performances.
Szczesny's form has been in stark contrast to last season, when he found himself dropped for a significant period after Christmas. Complacency appeared to be the issue, with the confident keeper admitting he needed to up his work rate, per Massimo Marioni of Metro.
Szczesny has been offered a new 5 year contract and a pay-rise according to the Daily Mail.— AFC Academy (@AFCAcademy) October 22, 2013
Of course, Szczesny must maintain his renewed form if he is to prove he has recovered after what had been a miserable year post-Euro 2012. When at his best, he is a fine goalkeeper, and will still improve at only 23.
It may well be that Arsenal continue to explore their options over the next few months, but for as long as Szczesny keeps performing, Adler's Arsenal dream will have to wait.