Emirates keeper set for La Liga move.
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Manuel Almunia has been told by Arsenal that he is free to find a new club in January, Goal.com UK can reveal.
The 33-year-old goalkeeper, who has not played for the first team since suffering an elbow injury in the home defeat to West Brom on September 25, could be given an escape route back to Spain.
Financially-stricken Atletico Madrid are among the clubs monitoring Almunia’s situation and will be on the lookout for a new keeper if they cash in on highly-rated No.1 David de Gea, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United.
Although Almunia began the season in the Arsenal goal, his grip on the keeper’s jersey has remained precarious following the club’s summer-long pursuit of Mark Schwarzer, which ended when the Australian signed a new Fulham contract last week.
Since injuring himself against West Brom, Almunia has played only 45 minutes for the reserves a fortnight ago but manager Arsene Wenger claimed last week that the Spaniard had suffered another setback in training and was not ready to return to the first-team squad.
Arsenal have showed no desire to offer a new contract to the long-serving goalkeeper, whose deal at the club he joined six years ago ends in 2012. Wenger has finally lost patience with Almunia, who has made a string of high-profile blunders, and is willing to offload him for as little as £1.5 million. (Goal.com)
This does seem a rather harsh way to end Manuel Almunia’s six years at the north London club and whilst a small fee would at least make the chance of a move to Atletico Madrid more likely it does also go some way to showing just how desperate the Gunners are to get rid of the Spaniard.
The Arsenal keeper has dropped a myriad of clangers over the past 18 months and appears to have no future at the Emirates and a move to the La Liga side will of course increase speculation that highly rated youngster David de Gea is set to leave Atletico.
Almunia has made 167 appearances for Arsenal since he moved to the club in July 2004.
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