Arsenal has been searching hard for a quality backup to goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, and are closing in on Colombian goalkeeper David Ospina, according to Colombian reports.
Argentinian media have also corroborated the story.
Ospina, currently with French club Nice, was a part of the Colombian squad that took the World Cup by storm. Their star was forward James Rodriguez, but Ospina’s back line allowed just four goals over five World Cup matches.
Szczesny’s number-2 last season, Lukasz Fabianski, had his contract run out and it was not renewed after seven seasons at the Emirates. He has since signed with Swansea City.
The reports tab Ospina with a price tag in the range of $5 million. He speaks fluent French, always a good thing when Arsene Wenger is in charge. The Arsenal boss was on hand at the World Cup working as an analyst for French TV.
The Gunners were also linked with Cardiff City’s David Marshall, who was one of their few bright spots in a relegation season, but the reports suggest Ospina’s lower price is attracting the Londoners to him instead.
While moving clubs would be a step up for Ospina, he clearly would see a drop in playing time barring an unforseen injury to Arsenal’s current number-1, and as the starter of a national side, regular game time is usually a positive thing even for a lesser club. He made 29 Ligue 1 appearances last year, missing out only on a small stretch due to a knee problem.
Newcastle United’s horror start under Steve McClaren just got worse.
Magpies No. 1 goalkeeper Tim Krul is on duty with the Netherlands, and was forced from the Dutch’s 2-1 win at Kazakhstan in Euro qualifying action.
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Krul left the game after landing awkwardly on his knee, and left the stadium on crutches.
Newcastle’s back-up keepers are Karl Darlow, new from Nottingham Forest, and veteran Rob Elliot.
The Magpies are in 20th place, without a win through eight Premier League matches.
McClaren’s crew just finished a brutal run of matches that saw Newcastle face Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United.
Italy took a 1-0 lead over Azerbaijan through the in-form Eder in the 11th minute, but the true leg-work (see what I did there) came from bite-sized midfielder Marco Verratti.
The PSG playmaker pinged a beautiful long ball over the top of the Azerbaijan defense that fell right at the feet of Eder, who let the ball settle itself and touched home confidently past Kamran Arhayev for a 1-0 lead.
The goal is the second of Eder’s national career in just five caps, having scored on debut against Bulgaria back in March. He has six goals in seven matches for Sampdoria so far this Serie A season.
Italy needs three points in this match to ensure qualification to Euro 2016. A win would guarantee them a place in the field, while anything less would mean there is work to do in the final match on Tuesday against Norway.
Later in the match, Stephan El Shaarawy gave Italy a 2-1 lead just before halftime, his second career international goal and his first since September of 2012 which came in his third career start.