Arsenal are to compete with Roma and Fiorentina for the Brazil goalkeeper Júlio César, with Queens Park Rangers braced to receive a formal bid for his services in the coming week following the conclusion of the Confederations Cup.
Júlio César will play for his country in the tournament's final, against Spain at Rio's Maracanã on Sunday evening.
QPR have made no secret that the 33-year-old is effectively available despite his fine form during a traumatic campaign that culminated in relegation from the top flight.
There is a desire at Loftus Road to shift the Brazilian's £70,000-a-week salary from the wage bill and they would only anticipate generating a fee of around £1.5m for a player who joined from Internazionale last summer.
Arsène Wenger is keen to secure an experienced goalkeeper to compete with Wojciech Szczesny and has considered testing Liverpool's resolve to retain Pepe Reina after the arrival of Simon Mignolet. But Júlio César, impressive in his only season at QPR and scouted by his prospective employers over the last two weeks, has indicated a desire to remain in London next term and, despite interest from the Italian clubs, his representatives expect to resume talks with Arsenal once his international commitments are complete.
He would be joined in London by Gonzalo Higuaín, whose £22m move from Real Madrid should be concluded over the next few days after the Spaniards' new manager, Carlo Ancelotti, sanctioned the transfer.
Wenger's interest in the Swansea defender Ashley Williams and Everton's Marouane Fellaini may be frustrated, however, with Arsenal apparently unwilling to meet the Welsh club's £10m valuation of the centre-half or meet the £24m release clause, which expires on 15 August, in the Belgian's contract at Goodison.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
image: © daly3d