The £4.4m deal which has just made Arsenal's goalkeeper pursuit much easier

Julio Cesar Brazil

Julio Cesar was reportedly on his way to Napoli ahead of the Gunners ... but Napoli have just signed young Brazilian international Rafael.

One of the main orders of business for Arsenal this summer has been to bring in a new goalkeeper. With confidence in Polish pair Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski low after a poor season and poor injury record respectively it has been reported that Arsene Wenger has been looking to bring in a new stopper to provide competition; but ultimately to be the new number one at the club.

The likes of Simon Mignolet, Pepe Reina, Victor Valdes and, over the past 24 hours, Newcastle United stopper Tim Krul have all been linked with meeting the criteria for the Gunners but the strongest link has been with QPR stopper Julio Cesar.

At 33-years-old he is experienced and highlighted his obvious talent at QPR last season despite the White City clubs relegation to the Championship.

With Cesar currently the number one stopper for Brazil he wants to play at a high level next season in order to maintain that position at a home World Cup next summer and he has also stated a desire to stay in London.

So this seems pretty straightforward; right?

Well over the past couple of days that has not been the case.

As it has been reported talks with Cesar broke down and he is now on his way to Napoli to replace the ageing Morgan de Sanctis as the number one custodian at the Stadio San Paolo.

As much credence as those rumours may have I would argue that Napoli would be pulling off an odd deal if they were to snap up Cesar; considering they recently signed another countryman who plays in the same position.

Yesterday the protracted deal,  believed to be worth in the region of £4.4 million, to sign Rafael from Santos was finally confirmed with the 23-year-old Brazilian international; who even spoke of the deal himself:

 

“Napoli is a great team and will play the Champions League which is a fascinating competition. [Rafael] Benitez is a very good coach.” 

So why would the Partenopei need Cesar?

They don’t and the likelihood is that deal will certainly not be happening; leaving Arsenal with the roadblock cleared for a keeper considered their number one target.

But beware … Roma are still searching for a new keeper.

image: © daly3d

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