Arsenal lead chase for QPR keeper Julio Cesar after Napoli withdraw

The Gunners have already lost out on Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain to the Serie A outfit but Arsene Wenger’s side are front-runners to get Cesar.

That is because Napoli’s proposed loan move for Cesar has broken down, with Rafa Benitez set to bring in former Liverpool charge Pepe Reina instead.

Higuain and Reina have passed their medicals and are set to be presented as new signings by Napoli on Monday.

But Arsenal have a long-standing interest in Brazilian keeper Cesar, and could bring in the QPR shot-stopper as competition for current first-choice Wojciech Szczesny.

Having allowed Vito Mannone to leave for Sunderland, Wenger has just Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski and options in goal.

Cesar’s agent Josias Cardoso hopes the goalkeeper’s future will soon be resolved, and believes the Emirates is still a viable destination for the 33-year-old.

“Arsenal remain a concrete option,” said Cardoso.

“In Italy recently I have only spoken to Napoli. President Aurelio De Laurentiis wanted him but didn’t want to pay Julio’s current wages.

“He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and after a great Confederations Cup performance he showed his desire to come back to Italy by demanding nothing more.

“It would’ve been normal for someone in his position to ask for a pay rise but he didn’t. Is there still hope of seeing him in Italy? If I don’t have official contact with a club, then I cannot have hope.”

Cesar’s reported £90,000-a-week wages could prove a stumbling block in his attempts to leave Loftus Road this summer though, as he bids to avoid a season playing in the Championship.

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