A pro-Barcelona blog has suggested the Spanish champions will look at signing Iker Casillas from arch rivals Real Madrid.
In terms of betrayal, switching between Real Madrid and Barcelona is probably as bad as it gets in European football but there is a very good reason Arsenal fans should be hoping Iker Casillas makes that very switch.
It’s only natural that Casillas is someone Barcelona would look at following that announcement from Valdes, as the Real Madrid shot stopper has started the season as second choice behind Diego Lopez under the Carlo Ancelotti regime.
If it’s a deal that happens then Arsene Wenger will have the opportunity to sign Valdes, taking care of a headache he’s been bearing for a long time.
One of the areas of the current Arsenal squad which many have said needs improving for the last couple of years is the goalkeeper position and Arsenal should seriously consider re-visiting their interest in Barca’s current number one.
Arsenal have several talented goalkeepers all the way through their senior and youth ranks but it’s a position that no one has been able to nail down and that makes the appeal of signing Valdes immense.
Valdes is only 31-years-old and his next move is likely to be his last because he seems like the sort of professional player who likes to be settled down and consistent in one place rather than moving around every couple of years.
A Spanish journalist, Carlos Perez, has suggested that Casillas has had enough of playing second fiddle at Real Madrid, wanting to be the main man and he ticks every single box as far as Barcelona are concerned; he’s experienced, he’s consistent and he could feasibly be available.
That would effectively make it impossible for Valdes to go back on his decision not to sign a new deal with Barcelona, leaving a very capable and successful goalkeeper free to sign and Arsenal need to make sure they are right at the front of the queue.
The only problem Arsenal will have in landing Valdes next summer depends on two things, only one of which is in their control; their league position and the number of other clubs interested in him.
Their league position is vital because Valdes is unlikely to want to take a big step down in terms of the stature of the club he joins. If Arsenal don’t finish in the top four with Champions League football then they won’t get anywhere near him.
The other factor is out of their control but they have the cash to compete against several other top clubs around Europe who are bound to make him a very lucrative offer to become their goalkeeper.
That includes Russian sides, Asian sides and even more mainstream European sides like PSG or Monaco, who could offer him a much bigger contract than Arsenal may be willing to commission.
It’s going to be an opportune deal, based on how much Arsenal want to sign Valdes, how far they are willing to go to get him and how quickly they go about doing a deal with his representatives to ensure they get him.
What do you make of Casillas’ proposed move to Barcelona? Would Valdes be a good signing for the Gunners?
image: © Gerard Reyes