The agent of Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar has moved to deny that the player has agreed a move to Arsenal. Strong reports emerged from Italy on Friday claiming that a deal had been struck to take the Brazil international to the Emirates.
That talk has since been quashed, reports the Daily Mail. Yet, Julio Cesar is likely to be available this summer with QPR having been relegated and the club having another highly paid goalkeeper -- Robert Green -- on their books. And the 33-year-old former Inter Milan keeper has revealed that he wants to remain in England.
“I want to stay in England. I am enjoying London and I love the Premier League,” he said ahead of Brazil’s friendly with England. He also recently announced that he had been in contact with other clubs. “There are indeed talks with some teams, but nothing definitive,” he told Globo Esporte. “This is the Confederations Cup moment, I have to focus on doing a good work for the national team. I won't name the teams as it would not be ethical since I am under contract with Queens Park Rangers. I let people responsible for my career deal with it."
There has been plenty of discussion about Arsenal’s hunt for a new goalkeeper this summer, with manager Arsene Wenger believed to be keen to have an experienced stopper to vie with the still raw Wojciech Szczesny.
Also thought to be on Wenger’s list of targets is Barcelona’s Victor Valdes. The 31-year-old has long-since announced that he will not be staying beyond the expiration of his contract in 2014. There has been speculation that he could leave as early as this summer and Valdes took time to discuss his future on Friday.
“My cycle ends when my contract terminates and the fact is I still have a year left on it,” he said, according to Barcelona’s official website. “I am open to finding the best solution so that Barca and myself both come out winning.”
Barcelona are said to already be lining up replacements, and they may well be tempted by a chance to recoup some money for the Spain international. Valdes has also been strongly linked with a move to big-spending Monaco.
Sunderland are another club reported to be lining up a replacement for their number one, as reports intensify of interest in Simon Mignolet. The Daily Mail is the latest outlet to claim that the Gunners are tracking the Belgian, who is coming off the back of a superb season. But manager Paulo di Canio has recently insisted that he is not interested in selling the 24-year-old.
In other news, Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas is keen to make a return to Arsenal, according to the Daily Mirror. The Spain international has recently been the source of much speculation over his future with reports claiming that Barcelona would consider offers for the player this summer. Fabregas re-joined his boyhood club from Arsenal in 2011 but has failed to flourish at the Camp Nou.
New Manchester United manager David Moyes is believed to be closely monitoring the situation and has already made contact with the Catalan club. Manchester City have also been linked. But the Mirror reports that the 26-year-old “dreams” of moving back to the club which he once captained. If they want the player back, Arsenal’s attempts would be helped by a clause giving them first option if and when he is sold. A figure of £25 million has been suggested as being acceptable to the Spanish champions.
Yet, after having longed to return to Barcelona, there must be question marks about whether he would be willing to give up on that dream after just two seasons. Respected Spanish journalist for AS and Sky Sports Guillem Balague has said that neither Fabregas nor Barcelona have any intention of ending their relationship this summer.