French international goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier is widely expected to be on his way out of Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne this summer.
In recent weeks the 26-year-old goalkeeper has been strongly linked with a move back to former club AS Monaco as they continue their Russian revolution.
But with the arrival of Ligue 1 stalwart manager Rudi Garcia at AS Roma it has also been reported that the Giallorossi are also keen on bringing him to Serie A this summer.
But until now Premier League interest has rarely been mooted; but it appears that one team has certainly been in touch.
His agent Patrick Glanz was speaking to press in Italy recently and had this to say on his client’s future: http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/12691/8819463/Transfer-news-St-Etienne-keeper-Stephane-Ruffier-has-English-offer
"St Etienne would like to keep him but if they get a good offer they would let him go. Currently there has been contact with an English club. Therefore, a future in the Premier League is a possibility."
But which of the 20 Premier League teams might have been in touch?
Here are five potential options…
The Gunners, as we all know, are on the hunt for a new goalkeeper this term.
With neither Pole of Wojciech Szczesny nor Lukasz Fabianski inspiring confidence for differing reasons there have been many stoppers linked with a move to The Emirates this summer.
But could the target have been Ruffier all along?
David Marshall had a great campaign last term while Joe Lewis is an adept covering option; but the Championship winners have been very pro-active in the transfer market so far this summer and neither of their current custodians has any Premier League experience.
Bringing in a talent like Ruffier could be an option; despite Malky Mackay’s obvious belief in Marshall.
Current number one Tim Krul has been a nightmare for injuries recently and with a lack of genuine quality in reserve bringing in cover is not a ludicrous idea.
Did we mention that Ruffier is also French? Always a positive when it comes to The Toon’s transfer activity.
After he lost a bit of weight Polish stopper Artur Boruc improved to the extent of earning his number one jersey back for his country.
But with unproven youngster Paolo Gazzaniga and ageing veteran Kelvin Davis in reserve The Saints could do with another younger top-quality option.
Perhaps the only team in the Premier League with a genuine need for a top-class keeper.
They recently signed Vito Mannone from Arsenal but he is not good enough to replace Simon Mignolet; and either is Irish stopper Kieren Westwood.
So I would not be surprised to discover the Black Cats have been in touch.
Where do you think Ruffier could go?
image: © manuel | MC