Schwarzer sale to spark keeper merry-go-round
Published 22:30 16/08/10 By John Cross
Arsene Wenger wants to tie up a £2.5m deal for Mark Schwarzer in time for the visit of Blackpool on Saturday.
And that is likely to pave the way for Fulham to make a move for Manchester City’s Shay Given to be Schwarzer’s replacement.
Mirror Sport first revealed Arsenal’s interest in Schwarzer on May 15 and the Aussie keeper demanding a move last week is likely to speed up the saga.
Wenger wants Schwarzer as his first choice because of the 37-year-old’s experience and he believes he may have a future in coaching at the club.
Arsenal have already had a £2m bid turned down by Fulham who are demanding £4m but Schwarzer’s insistence that he wants out means the deal is likely to go through before the window shuts.
Schwarzer’s would also not stunt the development of young keepers like Wojciech Szczesny, 20, Vito Mannone and Lukasz Fabianski, although Manuel Almunia is likely to be sold with Osasuna and Atletico Madrid keen.
Almunia, 33, insists he wants to stay but privately he has been left devastated by Arsenal going for another keeper and it was a surprise for him to start at Liverpool and also be made captain.
He says he is not prepared to sit on the bench at this stage of his career and hinted he could leave in search of first-team football.
The Spaniard said, "If somebody comes in, I will have to talk about my future at Arsenal. That is it.
"I cannot talk now, because the talking would be for nothing. I have to work and if one day I am not good for Arsenal, I will talk. That is no problem. I am very happy here. Football is like life.
"I don't see anything else outside of Arsenal. It will be very, very difficult to play for another team in England if it wasn't Arsenal. Spain would also be difficult.
"But I am 33 years old and only have a few more years left in football. I would like to enjoy them. I am a keeper who enjoys playing, just playing.”
Arsenal have also been linked with Irish international Given but City do not want to sell to a rival club in the top four and Wenger has always had worries over the Republic of Ireland keeper’s ability on crosses.
That has cleared the way for Fulham boss Mark Hughes who signed Given while at City and the keeper merry-go-round will suit the Cottagers.
City, who have made Joe Hart their new first choice, would prefer to let Given go out on loan rather than sell a top class keeper as they push for a Champions League place.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Swiss defender Johan Djourou trained yesterday (Mon) and is confident his hamstring injury will have cleared up to allow him to play against Blackpool.
French defender Laurent Koscielny will miss the Blackpool game through suspension after his red card at Liverpool but Djourou could now partner Thomas Vermaelen.