Arsenal are reportedly in talks to finalise the signing of QPR goalkeeper Julio Cesar, with Arsene Wenger ready to pay a nominal fee of around £1million to bring the Brazilian to the Emirates.
Asmir Begovic was rumoured to Arsenal’s main goalkeeper target this summer, but Stoke’s £10+million valuation of the Bosnian has apparently convinced Wenger to look elsewhere for a more reliable replacement for Wojiech Szczesny.
Cesar enjoyed an excellent first season even as QPR were relegated, and is expected to leave as the West London team try to reduce their wage bill.
Having been appointed at Chelsea yesterday, Jose Mourinho is reportedly considering making a move for Fiorentina striker and Arsenal target Stevan Jovetic, as are Manchester United according to reports from Italy. Arsenal have been chasing the 23-year-old striker for several months, but are rumoured to be unwilling to pay Fiorentina’s £25million asking price.
Chelsea will have fewer reservations about splashing the cash as they look to bolster their attacking options this summer, and having missed out on Radamel Falcao to Monaco, they could move quickly to secure the Montenegrin.
Arsenal are apparently also considering Swansea forward Michu, who enjoyed a fantastic first season in the Premier League, scoring 22 times. The 27-year-old cost Swansea just £2million last summer, and has given no indication he is pushing for a move.
One man who does want to leave his club is Wayne Rooney, and he is reportedly on Wenger’s shortlist of forwards to pursue this summer, along with Michu, Jovetic and Gonzalo Higuain, although the Real Madrid player currently looks likely to go to Juventus.
Arsenal are gearing up for a summer battle with Bayern Munich to keep hold of defender Laurent Koscielny. The French defender was a key figure in Arsenal’s fantastic end of season form which saw them claim fourth place ahead of Tottenham Hotspur, even scoring the winning goal in their final day win at Newcastle.
An Arsenal ‘insider’ has indicated that Bayern’s new manager, Pep Guardiola, is keen to add to his defensive resources, and will hope the temptation of playing for the Champions League winners will be enough to lure Koscielny to Germany.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald