Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Rui Patrício could be set for a move to the Premier League this summer, reports suggest and Arsenal continue to be linked.
At 29, Portugal’s first-choice shot-stopper still has plenty of years left at the top of his game. Despite this though, Portugal’s A Bola have suggested that both Arsenal and Manchester City are interested in signing him.
This news is unlikely though, for a number of reasons. Having been at Sporting since 2000 as an Academy player, he signed a six-year contract extension just last season. So why would he want to leave so shortly afterwards?
He has a €45m release clause and the inflated fee is one that no suitor across Europe will be prepared to pay. Pep Guardiola has been heavily criticised for his decision to sign Claudio Bravo and loan Joe Hart out to Torino, but he’s more likely to give the Englishman another chance to impress him this summer as opposed to splashing extra money on another goalkeeper with no Premier League experience.
Arsenal meanwhile, have both Petr Cech (34) and Wojciech Szczesny (27) to choose from once the current campaign is complete. That’s ignoring Emiliano Martinez and David Ospina, the latter of which is likely to leave for a chance to earn regular minutes elsewhere in Europe.
In terms of statistics, Szczesny has been better than both his more experienced team-mates and Euro 2016 winner Patrício, with speculation over a potential move potentially used to drive his price-tag higher.
Statistical comparison between the three goalkeepers
Patrício – 48 saves, five punches, 68 completed catches and 12 clean sheets in 30 Liga NOS matches.
Cech – 86 saves, nine punches, 81 completed catches and 11 clean sheets in 32 Premier League fixtures.
Szczesny – 87 total saves, 14 punches, 81 completed catches, 14 clean sheets in 35 Serie A matches.
Ligue 1 side Marseille are also interested in his services and it’s more likely that Rudi García’s side will make an approach for him as opposed to the Premier League duo.
Stats’ source: Squawka