£17m for this goal-keeping icon? Arsenal should jump at the opportunity:

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Iker CasillasHere’s a transfer rumour I never expected to see: according to the Daily Star, Arsenal are readying a ‘shock’ move for Real Madrid’s long-term goalkeeper, Iker Casillas.

That’s right, the same Casillas whose name is more or less synonymous with Real Madrid. The man who has stood between the sticks at the Bernabeu for a number of seasons now and doesn’t look like slowing down.

The Star even provides quotes where he confesses his admiration for the club: “I want the fans to remember me as a player who wore the Real shirt with pride.” Somehow the Star have twisted these quotes to suggest that he is hinting at a possible move.”

I’m not so sure about that. Casillas, who is now 31-years-old, is under contract at the Bernabeu until 2015. And yet, he hasn’t always had the best relationship with Madrid boss Jose Mourinho.

It’s been a particularly troubling season for him too. He’s spent a lot of time on the sidelines, either as a result of injuries or simply because he’s been dropped.

It would be foolish to bet against him, however. He’s still the Spanish International side’s number one and remains one of the best keepers in the game.

No one commands his penalty area quite like Casillas. He moves about it with a graceful air, has the experience to know how to deal with every potential situation and the shot-stopping ability to pull off remarkable saves.

Some may be wary because of his age, but this too would be a mistake. Just look at Brad Friedel, who has played some of his best stuff in the run up to his 40th birthday. The very best, natural keepers, are capable of playing way beyond outfield players and I expect this will be the case with Casillas.

The Star claims that he’d cost Arsenal around £17m. That’s a reasonable figure for a man with his level of experience and know-how. Decent goalkeepers don’t come cheap nowadays (just look at De Gea!) and Arsenal would be receiving the finished article.

A lot has been made of Szczesny’s mentality this season and Casillas would doubtless have plenty to teach the young Pole. I can scarcely think of a better role-model in the footballing landscape.

This may still be a bit of a ‘fantasy’ move, but that doesn’t make it any less appealing.

What’s your take? Should Arsenal make a move for this Spain and Real Madrid fixture?

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