Arsenal: 2021/22 season preview
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Arsenal director Edu is weighing up a move for Barcelona goalkeeper Neto after the Gunners failed to agree a fee with Sheffield United for the transfer of Aaron Ramsdale, according to reports. Mikel Arteta is said to be eyeing the capture of a new man between the sticks in order to provide Bernd Leno with some additional competition for his regular starting berth.
The departure of Brighton and Hove Albion loanee Mat Ryan at the end of last season leaves Runar Alex Runarsson and youngster Arthur Okonkwo as Arsenal’s only alternative options.
The latter struggled to underline his first-team credentials during pre-season while Runarsson failed to impress on a number of occasions throughout the previous campaign.
Arsenal have been linked with a number of potential options since the beginning of the summer transfer window, including Ajax stopper Andre Onana and Ramsdale of Sheffield United.
The Gunners tried to sign the England goalkeeper earlier this month and were said to be in advanced talks with the Blades over the possibility of a move.
However, the two clubs were unable to settle on a fee, with the Championship outfit demanding no less than £30million to let go of their prized asset.
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Arsenal have been forced to pursue other avenues as a result, with Neto emerging as a target once again, according to The Guardian.
The north London club made a move for the 32-year-old back in January and are said to have reignited their interest ahead of this month’s transfer deadline.
The report claims that Arsenal would prefer an English goalkeeper in order to fill their homegrown quota, but Neto has been earmarked as an attractive short-term option.
He has rarely featured for Barcelona since joining the Catalan giants two years ago and it is believed that a summer exit would be within the realms of possibility.
Neto’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, also represents Arsenal duo Willian and Cedric Soares, suggesting that his experience in dealing with the Gunners could see the Barcelona outcast make the switch to north London in the near future.
Arteta told reporters earlier this week that he was none the wiser regarding Arsenal’s search for a new goalkeeper but insisted that his side are doing all they can to resolve the situation.
“Things take time, there are all the times different things and different parties needed to get things done.” said the Gunners boss.
“For sure we are trying to do what we have. Important in that is to make sure that the squad is healthy.
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“And we have that stability within the squad which is certainly something that we missed last year up till December, so that is a support as well.”
Meanwhile, former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell recently admitted that he would be more than happy with the signing of Neto.
“They [Barcelona] are struggling financially, so it’s an opportunity to pick their bones a little bit,” the 51-year-old told The Highbury Squad Podcast.
“Neto is a competent keeper and a decent back-up. I have seen him play. He is a decent keeper. And he’s number two to [Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen.
“To bring him in and challenge, why not? He is good with his feet, he can play. Why not?”
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