Almunia 'would consider England'

Should Ben Foster become England's No 1 in the future, there is every chance that he will have to keep Manuel Almunia out of the side, as the Arsenal goalkeeper is considering an application for a British passport that would allow him to play for Fabio Capello's side.

The Spaniard joined the Gunners from Celta Vigo in 2004, and under residency laws would soon be eligible to apply to become a naturalised British citizen. And despite being a regular in the Champions League, Almunia has not been called up to the Spain team.

While any application is not about to be processed imminently, there remains a chance Almunia would be available to Capello for selection – or indeed, to any of the other home nations – in time for the build-up to the 2010 World Cup.

"People are asking this question now because I have been in England for five years and am able to apply for a passport," Almunia said. "I am taking in the information, what I need to do for a passport. I think, for January next year, maybe I can have the permission. Maybe I will get a passport, then after, if I get the call-up [from England], I will think about this."

Almunia is one of only a handful of first-team Arsenal regulars not away on international duty this week.