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Arsenal Target Attracting Italian Interest

Arsenal now face competition from Italian clubs AS Roma and Fiorentina for the signature of Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar. The Gunners have reportedly reached an agreement with Sunderland over the transfer of their third choice keeper Vito Mannone, bringing their goalkeeping squad strength down to two stoppers in Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski. Even though Arsenal have struggled to decide on their permanent number one keeper, Poland international Szczesny has primarily held the jersey in the last few seasons. However, this past season has seen his spot under threat due to lack of consistency, disturbances off the field, and good performances from Fabianski and Mannone as replacements.

Arsene Wenger has had the rub of the green with experienced goalkeepers in the past, as keepers like David Seaman and Jens Lehmann have proved to be consistent stoppers. Reports suggest Wenger is frustrated at the lack of consistency from Szczesny, and will now opt for experience over youth for the goalkeeping spot. Liverpool bound Simon Mignolet was also pipped as a potential signing for Arsenal, until the Merseyside club struck a deal with Sunderland over a transfer.

Cesar will prove to be a cool and calm keeper for the Gunners, and the Brazilian is also said to be an excellent reader of the game, influencing play with his excellent left handed throws and accurate long balls to the strikers.

The keeper began his career in Brazil with Flamengo between 1998 and 2005, where he played 130 times. At the age of 33, Cesar has spent most of his career in the Inter Milan colors which was his new club after Flamengo till 2012, representing the Italian outfit on 228 occassions. He then moved to England in search of a new challenge, and was impressed by Rangers manager Harry Redknapp’s approach to a daunting task of avoiding relegation. Even though the club were unsuccessful to do so, Cesar was impressive in many of his performances in the Rangers jersey, and proved his potential to perform in the intense English game.

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