Almunia eyes England switch
© AFP

Spanish goalkeeper Manuel Almunia has refused to rule out switching his national colours to England. The 30-year-old Arsenal keeper was born in Pamplona but is yet to receive a call from Spain's national team boss Luis Aragones, and in a year he will qualify for England.

One of the first tasks for new England coach Fabio Capello will be to solve his own goalkeeping conundrum, with Paul Robinson and Scott Carson having failed to convince during the doomed UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying campaign.

Almunia is currently one of the in-form goalkeepers in the Premier League after his penalty save in the 2-1 win over Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, but Capello will have to wait another year to pick him. "I will study my situation," said Almunia.

"Spain have never called me. And, if other people want me, I have to study my situation and take a decision because it is good for me, I will not close myself to anything. I would be very pleased to take a decision that would make me happy and my family happy.

"I always say I have to wait until that moment to see what is happening at that moment, or which goalkeeper England has, or which goalkeeper Spain has - look at the situation and take a decision."

Almunia admitted it would be a tough decision to turn his back on his country. "But that's football," he said. "It would be a big decision but I wouldn't care if I had two days to take it."

Arsenal are top of the Premier League but Almunia feels there is plenty to come from Arsene Wenger's side. "We are not playing too well now, but we have taken three points against Spurs at the weekend," he said.

"I think we have to improve away from home because now we have two consecutive games which are very, very difficult, Portsmouth (Wednesday) and Everton (Saturday).

"After those two games, we will show how strong is Arsenal or what Arsenal can win this year. The season is long, but at the moment, we have played 18 games and we are at the top and that means something."