Arsenal are reportedly close to a transfer deal for goalkeeper Julio Cesar, according to The Daily Mirror. The veteran stopper has admitted he is in talks with an English Premier League club.
That is strongly assumed to be Arsenal, given the Gunners long-standing interest in Cesar. A similar report in The Mirror back in April, stated Arsenal were keen on the Brazil international.
Cesar also revealed he came close to joining the Gunners last summer, according to Sky Sports. In many ways Cesar is the ideal solution to Arsenal's prolonged issues at goalkeeper.
An experienced and savvy stopper, he has an excellent record at the top levels of the game. As well as being Brazil's No.1, Cesar is a proven winner at club level.
He won the UEFA Champions League with Inter Milan to conclude the 2009/10 season. That kind of experience would be useful in an Arsenal squad short of major trophy winners.
Just as important, Cesar has now proved he can cope with the pace and style of the EPL. It is a notoriously tough league for goalkeepers to adapt to.
The rough and tumble aspect, particularly when crosses are launched into the box, can be a culture shock for many goalkeepers arriving from other countries.
However, despite Queen Park Rangers being condemned to relegation, Cesar still performed admirably. He demonstrated good command of his area and no fear when claiming high balls.
He also showed that even at 33, he is still as agile as ever. Cesar produce a series of impressive saves during the last campaign.
Arsenal should know, as they found him almost impossible to best at the Emirates Stadium in October, 2012. Cesar was on fine form to deny several scoring chances.
Finally it took an offside goal from Mikel Arteta to give the Gunners a narrow 1-0 win. Manager Arsene Wenger had to be left suitably impressed.
He will also remember the last time he opted for a veteran to fill a void at goalkeeper. When David Seaman left Arsenal in 2003, Wenger had grown tired of young pretenders Richard Wright and Stuart Taylor.
He went for the safe assurance of experience to replace Seaman. Wenger signed Jens Lehmann and the German did not disappoint.
A decade later, the current situation at goalkeeper is eerily similar. Arsenal have been relying on Polish youngsters Lukasz Fabianski and Wojciech Szczesny.
Neither has completely convinced and have both been blighted by injuries and calamity. Signing Cesar would finally give Wenger an established 'keeper who could be relied on.
Many have felt that Szczesny would benefit from some experienced competition. Signing Cesar would mean Arsenal would not have to give up on Szczesny just yet.
Of course, this is all assuming the reports of Arsenal's interest are accurate. The article in The Mirror simply states the assumption that Arsenal are the club Cesar is talking to.
It was also The Daily Mirror that recently claimed Arsenal were favorites to sign Sunderland's young stopper Simon Mignolet. Cesar would likely be a cheaper alternative to the £10 million-rated Belgian.
That could be a decisive factor if Wenger is looking to upgrade multiple positions this summer. After too many seasons blighted by inexperience between the posts, a veteran like Cesar could be the perfect fit.1237139