Arsenal have reportedly joined arch-rivals Chelsea in the pursuit of Barcelona’s back-up goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen.
The 29-year-old has been with the Blaugrana over the past two seasons and he is now said to be considering an exit after amid his reduced game time.
According to Sport, the Gunners are among the clubs vying for the shot-stopper, who represented the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup finals.
It is added that the Dutchman has a £52.4m release clause attached to his current contract but the Catalan giants could accept a lesser sum, should he push for an exit.
Cillessen has somewhat seen his career take a backward step at Barcelona where he has played second fiddle to Marc-Ander Ter Stegen in recent seasons.
Over the past two campaigns, the Dutchman has mostly featured for the club in the Copa del Rey and he has been restricted to just two starts in the Spanish top-flight.
As such, the player’s situation appears to have caught the eye of the Gunners’ hierarchy and Sport claims that there has been contact with Barcelona regarding the Dutchman’s availability.
Arsenal had most of their issues with the central defensive department last term but Petr Cech’s showing between the sticks was far from impressive during the backend of the season.
The former Czech international made a number of notable blunders against Swansea and Brighton among others which cost the side valuable points and a new number one appears more of a necessity, considering back-up David Ospina has equally disappointed in different stages.
Cillessen is certainly a good choice for the shot-stopper’s role and ability to be more involved with his passing but the transfer fee may still be a concern considering his age.
New Gunners boss Unai Emery has been entitled to a pre-sales budget of around £70m to conclude the summer transfer business and anything more than £25m may be considered steep for a player, who does not have much room to improve.
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