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29th Jun, 2017 | 1:45pm

Arsenal fringe player becomes top summer priority of PL-winning manager - report

By Abigail Withey 

Newly-appointed Nantes manager Claudio Ranieri has made signing Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina his top summer priority, according to reports in France.

France Football has claimed that securing the Gunners’ fringe player is top of the former Leicester boss’ summer wishlist, but he is attracting attention from across the continent.

The French media outlet claimed that initially Ranieri was interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain’s keeper Salvatore Sirigu, but after the 30-year-old completed a deal to move to Torino the manager turned his head to the Gunners shot-stopper, who has spent most of his time in London on the bench.

It is said that Premier League-winning manager Ranieri has made the move and contacted the keeper, but the Ligue 1 boss could face competition from Turkish club Fenerbahce.

The Colombia international ‘keeper joined Arsenal from OGC Nice on a five-year-deal back in 2014 for a fee just over £3million.

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Since his arrival at the Emirates the Colombian has made just 49 appearances in total, and featured only 14 times in all competitions for Arsene Wenger’s side during the 2016/17 season.

Ospina has experienced a frustrating season with the Gunners after falling down in Wenger’s pecking order when the Frenchman favoured Petr Cech in goal.

Football Insider verdict:

Although Ospina hasn’t provided the most elite performance to the Gunners, the 28-year-old has been a reliable and stable alternative to Petr Cech for Wenger. The keeper is contracted at the Emirates for a further two seasons, but with Ranieri likely to swoop on the Colombian, Wenger will have to look elsewhere for a back-up keeper. A move back to Ligue 1 would be positive for Ospina as he would see a guaranteed spot in Nantes’ starting XI, something he has sorely lacked at the north London club. With record fee keepers like Manchester City’s Ederson, and Everton’s Jordan Pickford entering the Premier League next season, Wenger will need to step up his game to find a long term solution in a young player to replace Ranieri’s target.

In other Arsenal transfer news, the club battle it out with north London rivals Tottenham over a centre-back.

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