Iker Casillas Targets Real Madrid Stay Amid Arsenal Transfer Rumours

Tom SunderlandFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2017

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 23:  Iker Casillas of Real Madrid CF in action during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Real Madrid CF and Juventus at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on October 23, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Having dropped behind Diego Lopez in the Real Madrid pecking order, there were rising concerns that Iker Casillas would be one of those heading for the Real Madrid exit in 2014.

However, the Castilla youth product and 23-year Real Madrid resident showed against Juventus on Tuesday night that he still has the ability to hold down Carlo Ancelotti's No. 1 shirt and dissuaded any notion of a move away from the Bernabeu.

According to Squawka, the veteran made nine saves against Antonio Conte's Old Lady and allowed his side to claim a point in their search for knockout stage qualification.

Speaking after his side's 2-2 draw at Juventus, per ESPN's Dermot Corrigan, Casillas noted:

There are people who like to misinterpret my words. My idea is to stay at Real Madrid in January, to stay at Real Madrid in June and to stay at Real Madrid until my contract ends.

But I do not have any idea what can happen in one year, or two or three. I am very relaxed about what I say, even if some people do not listen to me properly.

Casillas is contracted to remain a part of the Real Madrid setup until June 2017, at which point the stopper would then be 36 years of age.

It was in October that Arsenal's interest in the World Cup and European champion was supposedly increased, per the Independent's Simon Rice, due to concerns over playing time.

However, the need for a new keeper at the Emirates Stadium seems to have lessened since then with Wojciech Szczesny putting pen to paper on a new four-year extension, per the Mirror's Ben Burrows.

Although yet to make a La Liga appearance this season, Casillas nonetheless remains Los Merengues' club captain and an important part of the dressing room.

Having to settle for featuring only in cup competitions, Casillas is biding his time for now in what's been his least active season for some years.

Casillas and Lopez are jostling for top spot
Casillas and Lopez are jostling for top spotDenis Doyle/Getty Images

A two-time winner of La Liga's best goalkeeper award, making the UEFA Team of the Year on six occasions and the World XI another five times, it's difficult to envision a Real Madrid team photo without Casillas at its forefront.

In his time as part of the club's senior team, Casillas has seen no less than 13 managers come and go, but is still only 32 and is not to be considered over the hill by goalkeeping standards.

The player himself is at least intent on remaining a Madridista until next summer, if not until 2017, starting position or not.