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City target Iker Casillas for title chase boost

| 18.11.2013

After dropping Joe Hart, Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has turned his attention to Spanish stopper Iker Casillas.

The Madrid keeper, 32, would add vital experience to City’s struggling backline with 476 career league appearances and five La Liga titles. Despite his pedigree, Casillas has yet to play in the league this season as he remains out of favour with the club hierarchy.

The last time he started every league game for Real was during Manuel Pellegrini’s single season at the club in 2009-2010. Since then, Casillas has clashed with Madrid managers Jose Mourinho and Carlo Ancelotti off the pitch.

No wonder Casillas spoke out against the Chilean manager’s sacking, saying at the time “He is very coherent and we stand by him. He and I have a close relationship, but I don’t decide what happens. My job is to save balls.’

Manchester City – who are 11/4 to win their second Premier League title – have already lost four league games compared to just five in the whole of last season. City are prepared to add big names in January to make up ground in the title race.

Pellegrini would welcome to the chance to work with a player he trusts and believes would offer an instant improvement to Joe Hart based on current form. Casillas is conceding a goal on average every 12.3 shots he’s faced in this season’s Champions League, compared to Hart conceding after an average of 7.2 shots in Europe and 7.5 in the Premier League.

A reunion with Pellegrini and Spain teammates Jesús Navas and Álvaro Negredo could appeal to Casillas as he seeks to hold onto his international place with the World Cup approaching.

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Joseph Barnsley