Arsenal are closing in on a cut-price deal to sign Colombia's World Cup goalkeeper David Ospina, who would be another valuable addition to the squad.
The £3.2 million transfer, per Colin Harvey of the Daily Star, may not be in the same category as the £35 million capture of Alexis Sanchez last week, but it is an equally excellent piece of business.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has been trawling the transfer market for a new 'keeper but was unwilling to pay the £8 million asking price for Cardiff's David Marshall. He had also been tracking Reading's Alex McCarthy and Espanyol's Kiko Casilla, per John Cross of the Daily Mirror.
With Lukasz Fabianski joining Swansea and Emiliano Viviano headed for Palermo, the Gunners require a backup goalkeeper. Yet Ospina, as a tried and tested international goalkeeper, is more than that.
The 25-year-old can provide a realistic challenge to Wojciech Szczesny, who was first choice for the Premier League and Champions League last season, for the No. 1 spot.
Ospina played in all five of Colombia's matches at the World Cup—until their elimination in the quarter-finals against Brazil—conceding four goals and keeping two clean sheets, per WhoScored.com.
His agility and quick reflexes make him an excellent shot stopper, and his solid performances at the World Cup certainly caught the eye.
Maybe thinking of the tournament in Brazil as a shop window, Ospina rejected a new contract from his French club Nice, and with just 12 months to run on his current deal, Arsenal are in a strong position to negotiate a fee.
And they have done so very well, as the Daily Mirror's Ed Malyon points out:
Ospina made his senior international debut for Colombia in 2007 and a year later joined Nice from Colombian side Atletico Nacional.
He is now Colombia’s first-choice 'keeper and ranked fifth at the 2014 World Cup in terms of saves made, per Squawka.
The goalkeeper is a key part of Colombia's sturdy defence, and Wenger will be hoping that Ospina can spread the same sort of confidence to the Arsenal back four.
With a player like Ospina pushing Szczesny to ensure the Polish stopper is at the top of his game, it could be just the signing the Gunners need to push on in their title challenge next season.
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