By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Wojciech Szczesny is closing in on a loan move to Roma after a U-turn on his Arsenal future, Football Insider sources understand.
The Polish goalkeeper sanctioned his agent to find him a new club following the early weeks of the Gunners’ pre-season programme.
Long-time admirers Roma are now working on a deal to sign Szczesny on a season-long loan with an option to buy 12 months later.
Negotiations are progressing smoothly between the parties, with Arsene Wenger content for Szczesny to leave Emirates Stadium and Colombian David Ospina to deputise for new No1 Petr Cech.
Football Insider revealed that Wenger told Szczesny in a meeting at the end of last season that Cech was likely to join and he was free to find a new club. The Pole initially rejected the manager’s invitation and told him he wanted to battle Cech for a first-team spot next season.
But Szczesny has had a change of heart following Arsenal’s pre-season tour of Asia, where his new status became abundantly clear.
Wenger still has hopes that Szczesny, 25, can develop into a consistently top-class shot-stopper which is why he will leave the door open for him to return to Arsenal.
At the end of last season, it is understood that the Poland international had been ‘kicking up a fuss’ behind the scenes at London Colney after slipping down the club’s goalkeeper pecking order over the previous six months.
He then told friends that he wanted to quit this summer but stopped short of asking to leave after being given the nod over Ospina for the FA Cup final.
Szczesny appreciated the loyalty of manager Arsene Wenger, who played the long-serving Pole in each of the final five rounds of the competition despite selecting Ospina in the Premier League.