Palermo goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano has moved to Arsenal on a season-long loan deal, casting fresh doubts over the futures of Emirates’ net-minders Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski.
Italian international Viviano made 32 Serie A appearances on loan at Fiorentina last year and kept 10 clean sheets as the Viola missed out on a Champions League spot on the last day of the season.
The Florence club declined the option of meeting Palermo’s reported €7.5m valuation, prompting Arsene Wenger to swoop for the player on a short-term deal with an option to buy next summer.
Wenger had been frustrated in his attempts to find a new number one.
A move for QPR’s Julio Cesar faltered due to the Brazilian international’s high wage demands.
The Gunners’ boss also baulked at the £25m valuation placed by Valencia on Vicente Guaita, with the Premier League club’s offer of around £7m laughed out of the Estadio de Mestalla.
Now it seems Wenger has stumbled upon a solution to his goalkeeping problem, which is bad news for Polish internationals Szczesny and Fabianski.
Szczesny appeared to suffer a crisis of confidence in the Arsenal net last season and was replaced by Fabianski for the Champions League last-16 second leg against Bayern Munich in March.
Arsenal won that game 2-0, although they went out on away goals, and Fabianski was retained for the next four games before a rib injury put him out of action for a month.
Szczesny performed well on his return to the starting line-up, keeping four clean sheets and conceding just twice in Arsenal’s last six Premier League games.
He has been an ever present in the north Londoners’ first team this season, but will surely fear for his place now that Wenger has capped a difficult transfer window with a deal for the former Inter Milan shot-stopper.