Arsenal Transfer News: Iker Casillas Is Wanted by Gunners, Reveals Santi Cazorla

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistApril 9, 2014

Real's keeper Iker Casillas exercises during the training session prior the UEFA Champions League second leg soccer match between Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid in Dortmund, Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Martin Meissner

Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has revealed that the North London club could be interested in signing Spanish international goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

The legendary Real Madrid player has been out of favour with the Spanish giants in domestic competition, losing his starting berth to Diego Lopez. 

Nacho Labarga of Sport 360 (h/t Carl Long of The Sun, subscription required) quotes the diminutive flair player commenting about his compatriot and the chances of Casillas joining him at the Emirates:

I've told him [I would like him to join Arsenal], but so far he has just been curious about my experience in England. His situation is very complicated, but he has to make a decision.

Lots of clubs want him, including Arsenal, but I think that it would be very difficult to leave Real Madrid because of what the club represents.

He knows what he has [at Madrid] and what he could find at another club.

The 32-year-old Casillas has been exclusively used this season by Carlo Ancelotti in the Champions League, making nine appearances in Europe's top competition, keeping four clean sheets, per Squawka.

He has not featured for his team in La Liga for well over a year, having last played in Spain's domestic league on Jan. 20, 2013, against Valencia.  

Andres Kudacki

It was not too long ago that Casillas was the first name on the Madrid team sheet, but that changed during Jose Mourinho's tenure, and it has now continued under the stewardship of Ancelotti. 

It is strange to believe that Casillas has not been able to win his place back from Lopez, especially given that the legendary home-grown goalkeeper is still relatively young.

However, with Casillas not getting even as much as a game in La Liga for 14 months, it is surely time for him to advance his career at another team.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 22:  A dejected Wojciech Szczesny of Arsenal sits on the pitch after conceding a fourth goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Arsenal at Stamford Bridge on March 22, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by R
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Matt Law of The Telegraph recently questioned Wojciech Szczesny's position at Arsenal, saying:

Szczesny faces a battle to keep hold of the long-term No. 1 spot because Arsenal are reviewing their goalkeeping options for the summer.

With Fabianski set to leave on a free transfer at the end of the season and Emiliano Viviano’s loan due to expire, Arsenal plan to sign a new goalkeeper and take back 21-year-old Damian Martínez from his loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday.

Law also quotes the Arsenal stopper himself. He said recently, after Arsenal's 6-0 defeat at Chelsea: "I am not afraid to fight for No. 1 with anyone, Fabianski or Casillas. I hope I won’t make the boss think, ‘Wojciech’s not my No. 1.’ It’s all my hands. I am in the best form of my life."

Arsenal are in desperate need of leaders and experience, and Casillas would bring both skill sets with him to Arsene Wenger's starting XI. 

Szczesny has flattered to deceive in the Gunners' net. He has 13 clean sheets in the Premier League this season from his 33 appearances, per Squawka, but he does not look like a world-class goalkeeper in the biggest of matches.

This has hurt Arsenal this season. They have needed a firm defensive foundation to carry their charge for the championship this year, and this element has failed. 

Casillas would be a fine addition to the Gunners' squad and the international could work with the young Szczesny over the next few seasons, taking the pressure off the player and offering scaffolding to a defence that all too often lacks a solid edge.