December 19th, 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that he came not only close to signing Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona, but also Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique.
Fabregas was one of the biggest buys for Arsenal from the Spanish club, as they secured the midfielder for a relatively cheap transfer from the Spanish club’s youth academy. Barcelona have produced several great players over the years with academy graduates like Messi and Gerard Pique playing in the first-team even now. Wenger, who has revealed several missed opportunities, has stated thatPique and Messi were also in advanced discussions over a move to Arsenal as teenagers.
It was widely rumoured that Arsenal failed to secure the move to Messi because they could not find a flat. It is one of the popular rumours about the Argentine superstar, who is regarded as the best player in the world.Pique would have provided Arsenal with a lot of defensive solidarity especially after the loss of Tony Adams.Pique did play in the Premier League, albeit only for a few years, with Manchester United. He returned to the Camp Nou during the regime of Pep Guardiola for £ 5 million. However, rumours about an unhappyPique have surfaced in recent weeks with the defender being continuously left out of the starting line-up by manager Luis Enrique.
“We wanted to take Fabregas, Messi and Pique. It worked only for Fabregas. It was not completely down to a flat in the end. It was down to the fact that in the end Messi was comfortable at Barcelona. I refused nothing. I think in the end, he was not so keen to move, because it was at a period where Fabregas came and Fabregas and Messi played together in the same team,” said Wenger. Pique missed a couple of matches after the defeat against archrivals Real Madrid.
September 10th, 2014
Iker Casillas is fully focused and determined of accomplishing a feat with Real Madrid that has been completed before and that objective this season is to successfully defend the Champions League silverware.
Real Madrid won the Champions League of the previous season after defeating Athletic Madrid in the finals and now the captain of Real Madrid wants to put his name in the history books of the European tournament by becoming the first squad on defending it in successive seasons.
“We experienced it with the strength we have always had. We came very close to one or two more finals, but in the end we won our tenth European title last season,” he said at the unveiling of Madrid’s new Champions League kit. It’s difficult to defend the title, but we have more desire and determination than last year. We have a very good squad and a spectacular team, which is also more experienced and more mature. I hope we can win the Undecima.”
Real Madrid is always eager and hungry on adding more and more trophies to their collection and they are showing no signs at all of slowing down after a summer transfer window that saw the club splashing out more than €100 million in order to further upgrade the squad.
Gareth Bale is another player of Real Madrid that is thirsty for even more success by securing the 11th Champions League title for his club.
“Winning the club’s 10th title was fantastic for everyone. Scoring a goal in the European Cup final is one of my biggest dreams and it was a good season for the team. I felt fulfilled. We have to look to the future and try to win it again. We want to make history by winning the Champions League again’’ Bale said.
August 7th, 2014
Arsenal recently completed the £ 3 million signing of goalkeeper David Ospina. However, this transfer may not prevent the expected arrival of Iker Casillas after it has been reported in German tabloid Bild that the Premier league outfit still regard the Real Madrid goalkeeper as a key transfer target. Casillas has been linked with a move to Arsenal for several months. His poor form coupled with the inability to feature in the team on a regular basis is widely expected to see him leave the club where he has been since the start of his career.
Casillas has been a first-team regular for Madrid since making his debut in the 1999-2000 season. Over the years, he has made close to 700 appearances in all competitions for the European champions. This also includes close to 500 league matches as well. Despite raking in huge number of appearances, Casillas has also been one of the most successful goalkeepers in the world. He has won a major trophy – both club and international level – with Madrid and the Spanish national team. Due to the inconsistent performances from Wojciech Szczesny, it is rumoured that Arsenal are considering an offer for Casillas.
It is widely reported that Casillas has agreed to leave Madrid next summer on a free transfer, despite having a contract until 2016, after talks with president Florentino Perez. The major stumbling block between a move to Arsenal may be his £ 150,000 per week demands in wages. Arsenal are believed to have offered only around £ 100,000 per week. Real Madrid recently brought in another goalkeeper in the form of Keylor Navas. This has pushed Casillas even down the pecking order considering that Navas had an excellent World Cup 2014 in sharp contrast to Casillas, who was criticised for Spain’s early exit from the tournament.
May 23rd, 2014
Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has added to the transfer rumours surrounding Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas by saying that he would love to see the Spaniard at the Emirates stadium in the summer. Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Casillas in the summer. The Real Madrid captain has reportedly grown tired of being on the bench despite being one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Casillas has been used only in cup competitions this season, as Carlo Ancelotti has not changed the philosophy set by former manager Jose Mourinho.
Diego Lopez has been preferred for the league matches and this seems to be causing a lot of trouble with the goalkeepers. Hence, Casillas is widely expected to leave the Spanish club in the summer. He has played for only Madrid throughout his career. The 32-year-old has achieved a lot in the game after winning all there is to win with both Real Madrid and Spanish national team. Cazorla has stated that he is extremely disappointed with Arsenal’s inability to win trophies and he has stated that the club should bring in top class players in the summer.
He has also expressed his desire to see Casillas, who is his Spanish international teammate, play for Arsenal.
“I’ve told Iker 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 it would be very difficult to leave Real because he knows what he has at Madrid, and what he could find at another club,” said Cazorla. Casillas made his debut for Madrid back in 1999 and is close to making 500 league appearances for the club.
February 26th, 2014
It was hinted that Iker Casillas would get back his position for the starting line-up in Real Madrid for the La Liga games, as is said by Carlo Ancelotti. Iker Casillas, who has been the world cup winner has been greatly confined to appear only in the Copa del Rey matches and Champions League for the past one year as the Italian Coach, Ancelotti has always preferred to stick with Diego Lopez. The previous coach Jose Mourinho had appointed Diego Lopez as the number one goalkeeper at Santiago Bernabeu and had miserably quarreled with Casillas.
Ancelotti was informally questioned by the journalists that what would he do if his team, Madrid qualified for the Champions League provide that Casillas would not have played since last month in the Copa del Rey finals. The Coach, Ancelotti has tried to follow a strict selection method when it cam to the choice of the goal keepers, given that Casillas has played all the Copa del Rey matches as well as Champions League while Diego Lopez has been turned out for every match in the league. Despite this, Ancelotti views Lopez as No.1. This can also depend on the fact whether Ancelotti considers La Liga as a precedence competition before the Champions League.
Ancelotti mentioned that he was removing Iker from one or two of the league games but he will take his decision if they qualify for the Champion League’s Final.
Inspite of facing a very limited time for playing, Casillas had constantly gone setting new records. It is known that recently he had broken his club record highest amount of time without surrendering a goal. He is a part of the first side ever to arrive at the final match of the Copa del Rey without surrendering either.
On the other hand Vicente del Bosque has continuously preferred to pick Casillas for the National team.
January 21st, 2014
Iker Casillas has not played a league match for over 12 months, as he has been constantly sidelined due to their impressive form of Diego Lopez. He was only utilised for the European matches by former manager Jose Mourinho and this tradition has continued under Carlo Ancelotti as well. Lopez has done little wrong to suggest that he would be dropped. This has led to rumours linking Casillas with an exit in January or in the summer. The 32-year-old has played for Real Madrid throughout his career, but it seems that his time at the Santiago Bernabeu is coming to an end.
Ancelotti, though, retained hope that Casillas will not consider leaving the club despite his absence from the team. Managing to convince Casillas to stay at Madrid will be the next big thing for Carlo Ancelotti after he managed to persuade Xabi Alonso to extend his stay at the club. Alonso’s contract was coming to an end in the summer and there was speculation linking him with a return to Liverpool, but he has now made a U-turn and signed a two-year contract. Ancelotti has praised Alonso by saying that there are few players in the world like him.
The Italian is no stranger to defensive midfielders capable of playing the ball, as he developed the Andrea Pirlo into one of the best in the business. This team has some very important players that represent this club. For this reason we will do our all so that Casillas finishes his career at Real. He’s important to us for his quality, experience and how he plays. There’s nobody else around at his level. You can compare him with Pirlo, but Andrea is 35 years old,” said Ancelotti about Casillas and Alonso. Madrid are just one point behind Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in the table.
December 5th, 2013
Spanish football expert Guillem Balague has stated that he feels Iker Casillas will definitely leave Real Madrid at the end of the season after growing disillusioned of life at the Santiago Bernebeu. The 32-year-old is regarded as one of the icons at the club, but he has largely been used as a substitute for the last 12 months by two different managers. Mourinho was the first to drop him from the first team, but Carlo Ancelotti has stuck with the decision of the Portuguese. Diego Lopez has been the first choice for the club during this period.
Casillas has been one of the most successful players in the world after having lifted every major title with club and country including the World Cup. He has also lifted the Champions league title with Real Madrid. Despite such status, he has been constantly overlooked for the first-team spot. Casillas will have no shortage of interest from clubs elsewhere. Manchester City and Paris St Germain are thought to be monitoring the situation, while Arsenal also remain in the hunt for a top-class goalkeeper like Casillas.
“Manchester City definitely want Iker Casillas for next season. He’s known about it for a while, but they are not the only team that are after Iker Casillas. It will be up to him what he does next, obviously. But if he continues to not play, and he won’t unless Diego Lopez gets injured, then he wants to leave Real Madrid at the end of the season,” said Balague.
Casillas has played in the European matches for Real Madrid, but those appearances have not helped towards reducing the rumours about his future.
Balague says that Casillas will see until January if his position will improve or not and then he will make a decision to leave the club in the summer.