Arsenal could seal a bargain transfer deal for Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar. According to The Daily Telegraph's Jeremy Wilson, the Gunners will bid £1.5 million for Cesar after the Confederations Cup.
The 33-year-old will lead Brazil out in the final of that tournament against Spain. Arsenal are expected to confirm his switch to North London after that, at the start of next week.
This is not the first time Cesar has been linked with Arsenal. At the end of May, Italian website TuttoMercatoWeb, claimed a contract had already been agreed.
Bookies Sky Bet even suspended betting on the transfer at the start of June. Since then rumors of Arsenal's interest in Cesar have cooled.
Serie A side AS Roma have been credited with wanting to take the ex-Inter Milan star back to Italy, according to Goal.com. But now it seems Arsenal will finally land their man.
Manager Arsene Wenger appears keen on adding an experienced 'keeper to put pressure on youngster Wojciech Szczesny. That does not really answer the question of if Cesar is being acquired to start, or act as a backup.
He was probably the only QPR player who enjoyed even a remotely solid 2012/13 campaign. He is now acclimatized to the rigors of the English Premier League.
Cesar's experience and success at both international and club level is something Arsenal certainly lack. Nobody can deny Szczesny has talent, nor can anyone deny he is inconsistent.
He produced several sluggish performances and became increasingly error-prone late season. It took a late-season benching to finally get the cocky youngster back on track.
Szczesny was replaced in March by fellow Polish stopper Lukasz Fabianski. Only an injury to Fabianski brought Szczesny back into first-team reckoning.
In fairness, he did not waste his opportunity. Szczesny was solid in Arsenal's final surge for a top-four place. He made key saves in wins over QPR and Wigan Athletic.
Despite these efforts, there is still a lingering sense that Szczesny has failed to deliver on his earlier promise. The cavalier Poland international could be a player who always needs to be prodded into his best form.
Wenger may have already grown weary with this idea. The Frenchman also knows the value of an experienced, steady custodian.
He signed 33-year-old Jens Lehmann to replace an ageing David Seaman in 2003. Wenger won all of his seven major trophies at Arsenal, with either Seaman or Lehmann tending goal.
Putting an experienced stopper into his current starting 11, would give Wenger another reliable performer between the posts.
Cesar, a UEFA Champions League winner with Inter Milan, perfectly fits the bill. For only £1.5 million, he represents an excellent bargain for the Gunners.1287297