Backpage Roundup: Arsenal Plotting Casillas Move, Arshavin Considering Retirement, Gunners Chasing 'New Xavi,' Monreal Thanks Wenger and More

Arsenal Plotting Casillas Move
Arsenal are planning an audacious summer move for Real Madrid’s injured ace Iker Casillas, according to reports emerging from Spain.
The Gunners-related transfer rumours are rife following whispers of a £70million summer spree on Robert Lewandowski, Mario Goetze and Lars Bender in the summer.
While the Germany-based trio’s purported arrival would bolster coach Arsene Wenger’s offensive options significantly, one problem area at the very back of his line-up would still need some attention.
And it seems that the Frenchman has identified Casillas to be the man to take over the goalkeeping mantle from struggling pair of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukas Fabianski next season.
The 31-year-old World Cup winner is also high on Liverpool coach Brendan Rodgers’ wish list.
Arshavin Considering Retirement at Season End
Andrey Arshavin is thinking about quitting professional football this summer, according to a report published by The Evening Standard.
Arsenal signed the Russian forward from Zenit St Petersburg in 2009 for a club record transfer fee £15million. Despite a promising start, he never fully flourished for the North London club and quickly became a bit part player.
His contract with the club is set to expire at the end of the season, and even though he is just 31, the newspaper claim that he is seriously contemplating retiring, as he no longer has the hunger to play.
Gunners to Face Competition for ‘New Xavi’ Jordy Clasie’s Signature
Feyenoord wunderkind Jordy Clasie would be the subject of a three-way transfer battle this summer, according to the Daily Express.
Arsenal, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are all interested in signing the Dutch starlet, whose slick passing style has seen him likened to Barcelona maestro Xavi.
The 21-year-old midfielder is expected to command a transfer fee of £6.5million.
Rosicky Confident of Finishing Above Spurs
Tomas Rosicky believes that if Arsenal keep on playing like they are these days, they will surely qualify for next season’s Champions League ahead of fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
The Gunners currently sit fifth on the Barclays Premier League points table but they have a game in hand which if they win, they could take Spurs’ fourth place. And Rosicky, who scored both the goals in his side’s recent 2-1 win over West Brom, is confident that they will once again be playing in Europe’s top football competition next season.
He said: “If we continue like this, I am confident we will get in the Champions League. The fans are desperate to end the season above Tottenham and we are as well. We’re on the same page as that. Everyone wants to play and I am very glad to contribute again. It’s difficult when you are not playing.”
The Czech veteran then revealed how Arsenal’s recent resurgence in league was inspired by their last month’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in Germany.
“It always gives you confidence when you win in Munich. And, when you have a difficult game like here, where in the last 20 minutes you’ve got your backs against the wall it gives you a big lift,” Rosicky added.
Monreal Acknowledges Wenger’s Support
Nacho Monreal says that Arsene Wenger’s faith in his abilities has boosted his confidence levels a great deal since arriving at Arsenal in January.
The Spain international signed for the Gunners in the January transfer window from Malaga and instantly adapted to life in the Barclays Premier League. He believes that his quick adjustment to his new surroundings wouldn’t have been possible if the Arsenal boss didn’t had trust in him.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, Monreal said: “Since I’ve been here the manager has given me a lot of confidence and he’s been starting me. This has been very important for me because it helps a lot to feel that the manager has faith in me, especially as I’ve just arrived. This in turn this leads to good performances.
“Everything has been challenging in different amounts, because the league is completely different to La Liga. Coming here and not speaking the language, being unable to communicate with my team-mates, is one of many difficult situations that is making me grow as a person and as a player.”
Gunners Inspired by Win In Munich – Bould
Steve Bould believes that Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Bayern Munich in Germany last month proved to be a catalyst for their subsequent resurgence in the Premier League.
The Gunners have won three straight league games since defeating the Bavarians on their own turf, and the club’s assistant coach has linked the two events together.
Bould said: “The big thing for us was getting the big result at Bayern. We’re only the second team to have won there this season so it’s given everybody a belief that we’re doing all right. It was an important game for us.”

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