Arsenal FC are interested in signing Sporting goalkeeper Rui Patricio, who is also a Liverpool FC transfer target.
Rui Patricio has experienced exponential growth in his career over the past two seasons. Despite being Sporting’s No.1 goalkeeper since 2007-08 season, the 25-year-old has found it hard to cement his place in the Portuguese national team; till recently that is. But following his performances in Euro 2012 qualifying campaign, where he and Eduardo received similar first team action and a string of wonderful performances in the domestic league saw him displace Eduardo during the Euro finals in Poland and Ukraine. Patricio is now the undisputed no.1 in the Portuguese national side.
There has a lot of speculations about Rui Patricio’s future at the club. The 25-year-old has been at the club since joining their youth team in 1999. But the goalkeeper, who won the Sporting’s footballer of the year award in 2012, seems to be on the verge of moving to bigger and better opportunities. Liverpool and Barcelona have been linked with Patricio and now, according to reports from Portugal, Arsenal have joined the race for his signature.
Barcelona are in the market for a new custodian, after Victor Valdes announced his intent to leave the club after his contract expires. The Catalan club have been monitoring the progress of Patricio over a year now and reports from Spain suggest that the current La Liga leaders will make a bid for him in the summer.
But the Spanish club might need to act fast as two English clubs have already made their first move for the 25-year-old. An Earlier report suggested that Sporting have rejected a bid of £10m from Liverpool, who are also in the market for a new custodian as they look for a long term replacement for Pepe Reina, incidentally who has been linked with both Arsenal and Barcelona.
The latest reports that have emerged from Portugal also suggest that Arsenal have failed with an opening bid of £8.4m for the Portuguese international and the Gunners will return with an improved offer. Incidentally, Rui Patricio is the latest addition to the long list of goalkeepers who have been linked with Arsenal. A list which already included the likes of Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina, Petr Cech and Michel Vorm. Wenger it seems is determined to add experience to his defence, which means he will sign an experienced custodian as well, with Szczesny continuing his development under his guidance.
While Patricio is certainly more experienced than Szczesny, but he fades in comparison to the other names that were mentioned in the above list. Although, it must be said that Patricio is an excellent shot stopper, but at times he can be vulnerable to crosses and fails to dominate the penalty box – something which he can improve upon with time. But do Arsene Wenger have another season to experiment with untested talents? Arsenal’s interest in Patricio is something that would hardly excite the Arsenal fans at this point.