Arsenal FC are closing in on Brazilian custodian Julio Cesar as Vito Mannone is set to leave for Sunderland.
The 33-year-old was relegated with QPR last season after joining the club back in 2012, and despite QPR’s fate Ceasar was perhaps one of the most consistent performers for the club last season. The Brazilian international, who is currently participating in the Confederations Cup, has immense experience in European football after spending seven successful season at Inter. During his stint at the Italian club Cesar established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, as he won the UEFA Club goalkeeper of the year award during Inter’s historic treble winning season under Jose Mourinho.
It is this experience that Arsene Wenger is looking to utilize at Arsenal. Both Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski are yet to mature as a footballer and are yet achieve any sort of consistency in their performances. According to latest reports, Arsenal are closing in on Julio Cesar as Wenger is hoping that the presence of a more experience head at the back will not only shore up the defense, but it will also help in development of Szczesny and Fabianski with his help and guidance.
Italian club AS Roma have also been linked with a move for Cesar, but the 33-year-old is believed to be favouring a move to the London side. Reports suggest that Arsenal are expected to complete this deal with QPR after Cesar returns from his international duty. But Wenger has also lined up back-up options if the move for Cesar fails to materialize. Liverpool’s Jose Reina, who future at the club has been up for speculations since the arrival of Mignolet, along with Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic are the other options that Arsenal have at the moment – but both of these will cost more than Cesar and since they are younger, they might hamper the development of Szczesny, whom Wenger sees as the future number one.
Meanwhile, Arsenal are set to lose on one of their young custodians, Vito Mannone, to Premier League side Sunderland. Mannone, made nine appearances in the league last season, but the fact remains that he was always behind Szczesny and Fabianski in the pecking order. The 25-year-old has revealed back in February that he would consider moving back to Italy or look for other options in order gain more first team action. Now with Arsenal making a move for Julio Cesar, his future at the club was always going to be in doubts.
According to latest reports, Sunderland have agreed a deal with Arsenal for Italian U21 international Vito Mannone for fee believed to be around £3million. Sunderland’s former No.1 Simon Mignolet’s departure to Liverpool means that Mannone will now compete with Kieren Westwood for a place in the starting eleven next season. The English club has had a busy summer so far under new manager Paolo Di Canio, as they look to secure their Premier League status next season.
All that awaits is official confirmation from both the clubs. Vito Mannone will leave the London club after spending eight long years at the Emirates. He joined Arsenal’s youth academy back in 2005 from Italian club Atalanta, but was promoted to the senior squad in 2006. This move is a crucial one in Mannone’s career as he looks to develop further as a footballer.