Arsenal’s Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has given a strong indication that he may leave in the winter transfer window. Almunia last played for the Gunners back in September where his errors condemned Arsenal to a 3-2 home defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
“Almunia is on standby, that means he is here,” said Wenger at his pre-match press conference on Friday. “We keep always that very quiet [about whether there have been offers]. There is a slight chance he could go but as I told you it is standby.”
According to many pundits and fans alike, his performance against West Brom in September was the genesis of his problems. Almunia injured his elbow in the same match and has since continued to warm the Gunners bench despite claiming that he is fully fit and ready for action.
Reports emerging say that Spanish clubs Atletico Madrid and Malaga are keen on signing the 33 year old on a permanent deal.
Giving indications as to the future of the club, Wenger has played 20 year old Wojciech Szczesny, while Fabianski has seen playing time too.
Almunia was handed a curve ball when he was overlooked by Wenger who preferred little known and inexperienced Szczesny. This left Almunia infuriated as he claimed that there was no reason why he should have been overlooked. But in characteristic fashion, Wenger downplayed the whole issue saying that Almunia was free to leave in January.
With only days left until the January transfer window ends, it is looking very likely that Almunia may leave. The goalkeeper has been valued at a fee of 2million Euros which is believed to be in the range of both Malaga and Atletico Madrid. This only further intensifies and complicates the race to land his signature.