The Gunners would be well advised to follow up their initial interest in the Portugal international, who would represent a step up in class on their current Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Arsenal step up their search for a new shot stopper, with Sporting Lisbon No 1 Rui Patricio now reportedly top of the North Londoners’ wish list.
SOURCE: The Daily Express
It appears to be an open secret at the Emirates that Arsenal head coach Arsene Wenger is presently on the look out for a new and improved goalkeeper to replace current this season’s first choice – at least until a few weeks ago, that is – Wojciech Szczesny.
Ever since the Frenchman ‘rested’ the Poland international for the second leg of the North Londoners’ crucial Champions League last-16 showdown with Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena due to what he referred to as “mental fatigue”, the writing has very much been on the wall for Szczesny.
As a result, the Gunners have recently been linked with a whole host of possible new shot stoppers to take over in goal from the under-fire Pole next season, including high-profile names such as FC Barcelona No 1 Victor Valdes and his compatriot, Liverpool keeper Jose Manuel Reina.
However, neither of those candidates would likely come cheap, with their clubs under no pressure to sell. This probably explains just why the Arsenal coach has begun to look elsewhere for a possible new target.
Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patricio would almost certainly be a cheaper option for the Gunners, with the Portuguese giants valuing the 25-year-old at somewhere around the £12m mark. According to the Daily Express above, Arsenal are hoping to secure his services for as little as £8.4m, and have already tabled a bid, but with the player contracted to Sporting until 2018 that may prove wishful thinking on the Londoners’ part.
Either way, Wenger would be signing a highly experienced No 1 who has played 158 games for Sporting since moving to the Estadio Jose Alvalade in 2006. After a solid start with the Portuguese capital side, his outstanding form between the sticks for the club saw him win his first call-up to the national side three years ago, and having become a regular under Portugal coach Paolo Bento, he now has 21 caps to his name.