Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has acknowledged the reported interest from Premier League duo Liverpool and Arsenal, but hinted that his preference is to remain at Camp Nou.
The Netherlands shot stopper has played second fiddle to Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Barcelona since his arrival in 2016 and has made just two outings in La Liga. The former Ajax star has, however, been La Blaugrana’s designated cup keeper – lifting the Copa del Rey in both seasons since his arrival two summers ago.
With a release clause of €60m in his contract and some reports indicating he may be available for less than that, Cillessen has been linked with a move away from Catalonia this summer with Liverpool and Arsenal both on the hunt for goalkeeping upgrades.
The 29-year-old appeared to leave the door ajar on the links to England calling the Reds and the Gunners ‘not bad clubs’, while admitting he needs to ‘be patient’ regarding his future.
“I think that I played well in the matches I had in the Copa del Rey,” Cillessen told Fox Sports (via The Mirror). “I need to wait patiently. The only thing I know is that Barcelona won’t sell me.
“Arsenal and Liverpool aren’t bad clubs but if Barcelona say, ‘we love you’, then I’ll accept their decision and continue there.
“I’ll wait until we return on the 16th July to see what they’ve decided. I don’t know anything. If the club wants to keep me, I’ll accept that. I signed a five-year deal with them.”
Cillessen’s words seem to suggest that he won’t push for a move this summer and it may be on his suitors to force the issue by activating his release clause.
Both Liverpool and Arsenal’s desire for new goalkeepers has been well documented.
While reports connecting Jurgen Klopp’s side with new stoppers has only increased since Loris Karius’ Champions League final errors, Alisson Becker of Roma seems to be the preferred target, with Jack Butland and Jan Oblak also mentioned.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s current first choice Petr Cech is likely to be replaced this summer, with new boss Unai Emery and recruitment chief Sven Mislintat determined to ready a team capable of challenging for honours in 2018/19.