Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas Reuters

Arsenal are preparing a bid in signing Real Madrid goalkeeper Iker Casillas, according to Spanish newspaper AS.

The report claims the Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger is desperate to strike up a deal with the Spanish capital outfit for their 33-year-old before the start of the World Cup. Casillas had been linked with a January move away from Santiago Bernabeu with Arsenal and Manchester City thought to be the interested parties.

The Spain and Madrid captain was believed to be frustrated at being restricted to only playing in Cup competitions and Champions League where he cumulatively made 22 appearances. Carlo Ancelotti preferred Diego Lopez as his number one in La Liga fixtures, leaving Casillas to make only two appearances.

AS also claims that the Spanish international considered a move to the Premier League in December, but after winning Madrid's coveted 10<sup>th European title, quashed his desire to leave his boyhood club during the summer.

However, Wenger is relying on Santi Cazorla, Casillas' Spanish teammate and former Madrid playmaker, Mesut Ozil who are in good terms with the shot-stopper to convince him to make the switch to the Emirates.

Cazorla had already revealed that he is attempting to persuade his compatriot to move to north London. However, any attempt from Wenger to sign Casillas, who still has three years pending on his contract, looks potentially difficult as the two-time Euro winner has a release clause of €180m.

But his decreasing pay scale at the Bernabeu gives the Frenchman an opportunity to tempt him with a lucrative salary to make the switch to the reigning FA Cup champions.

The 64-year-old is left with only one goalkeeper ahead of the upcoming campaign in Wojciech Szczesny as Lukasz Fabianski departed for free while Emiliano Viviano's short-term loan from Palermo concluded at the end of the season.

There is speculation that Wenger wants to pay the La Liga giants very little in transfer fee but will offer Casillas a good package.

Meanwhile, a report from the Daily Mail claims that Arsenal approached Cardiff City with a £6m bid for their goalkeeper David Marshall. But the Welsh club rejected the initial approach for the Scotsman, who impressed last season in the Premier League.