10 facts about reportedly imminent Arsenal signing Emiliano Viviano

We bring you a fact-file on the Palermo keeper, with perhaps the most complex transfer history in world football.

The bulk of Arsenal’s transfer news today may be revolving around the potential acquirement of Mesut Ozil’s services from Real Madrid in a club record deal - but they are also in the market for a top quality keeper to provide competition to Polish international Wojciech Szczesny.

Now it seems as if that deal is nearing completion, as they appear to have come to an agreement with Palermo for the services of 27-year-old Italian custodian Emiliano Viviano.

Details of the deal are so far sparse, but it is believed to be a season long loan deal for the player to arrive at the club.

So what can we tell you about the player?

Here are ten facts on Emiliano Viviano…

1) He started his career with home-town club Fiorentina, but had to wait until 2012, and after five different clubs, before he could play for the club last season - during a loan spell from Palermo.

2) He made his breakthrough on loan from Brescia at Cesena before becoming an undisputed starter at the Lombardian club. But Bologna snapped up 50% of his rights along with Inter in 2009.

3) Viviano has had a bizarre career in regards to his transfers so far. For example he was signed by Inter Milan in 2009 on a co-ownership deal with Bologna - but he never played a single game for the Nerazzurri.

4) He had half a season as Inter’s second choice keeper in 2011-12 after Bologna committed administrative suicide. Bologna club director Stefano Pedrelli mistakenly halved the initial €4.71 million valuation of the remaining 50% of his contract to bid only €2.33 million in response to Inter's €4.1 million - therefore Inter won the blind auction for a player they did not particulary want.

5) Continuing with his complicated transfer history, Inter flogged half his ownership to Genoa in exchange for Juraj Kucka in 2012. But Palermo bought Genoa’s half of his ownership, before buying the other half from Inter six months later and immediately loaning him to Fiorentina. Talk about confusing.

6) The Gunners will hope his injury problems are behind him. The stopper suffered a complete tear of the left anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in the summer of 2011.

7) He is a regular in the Italian national set-up, playing at many youth levels including Under-19, Under-20, Under-21 and Under-23 levels.

8) The stopper has faced a couple of Premier League players before. When playing for Italy’s Olympic team in Beijing the Azzurri were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Belgium. They lost 3-2, with goals coming from Kevin Mirallas of Everton and Mousa Dembele of Spurs (2).

9) He is also an Italian international from his time at Bologna. He made his debut against the Faroe Islands in 2010 and has four caps for his country - although he has not played for Italy since June 2011, in a friendly defeat against Republic of Ireland.

10) Viviano has reportedly been waiting till the last minute to see if Fiorentina would follow up on their €7.5 million option on the player - because he is a die-hard Fiorentina fan. In fact, he even named his daughter Viola in homage to his beloved club.

Do you think he will be a good signing for Arsenal?

image: © mr-football

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