EXCLUSIVE | By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Wojciech Szczesny wants to quit Arsenal in search of regular first-team action, Football Insider sources understand.
The Polish goalkeeper is frustrated at losing his first-team spot and is aware that he will slip even further down the pecking order if the Gunners clinch the signing of Petr Cech.
Arsenal are in talks with Chelsea about signing Cech this summer and, as revealed by Football Insider, have been given permission by their west London rivals to discuss terms with the long-serving Blues ‘keeper.
Szczesny has made Arsenal aware that he is unhappy at playing second fiddle to David Ospina, who has been the club’s No1 for Premier League and Champions League matches since de-throning his younger rival at the turn of the year.
The Poland international, 25, has made only four first-team appearances – each of them in the FA Cup – since the Gunners’ 2-0 defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day, in which he was at fault for both of the home side’s goals.
Football Insider understands that Arsene Wenger retains total belief in Szczesny and does not want to sell him, although the manager accepts that the player needs to rediscover his hunger after five years at the top level.
Szczesny, who made his first-team debut aged 19 and was installed as Arsenal’s regular No1 when he was 20, still has three years remaining on his contract and the club know they can command a £10million-plus fee if they sell the Academy graduate this summer.
Wenger wants to sign Cech from Chelsea and make him the new No1, with Ospina and Szczesny vying to deputise for one of the outstanding goalkeepers of the Premier League era.
However, Arsenal are unlikely to block Szczesny’s desire to move if they are successful in their Cech pursuit.