Making way for Cech signing

Ospina moving out as Arsenal try to seal deal for Chelsea goalkeeper

LONDON - Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina is close to agreeing a £4 million (S$8.5 million) move to Fenerbahce, as Arsene Wenger prepares to complete the signing of Petr Cech from Chelsea.

Reports in Turkey claimed on Thursday that the Colombian custodian - signed from Nice for £3 million after starring in last year's World Cup - is expected to join the Istanbul club in the coming days.

Despite Ospina's impressive performances as Wenger's side finished third in the English Premier League, Wenger sees the chance to sign Cech as too good to turn down.

According to the Daily Mirror, Cech wanted to be guaranteed of the position as Arsenal's No. 1 'keeper. Ospina, who finished last season as Wenger's first choice, was reluctant to become an understudy again, having initially been behind Wojciech Szczesny in the pecking order.

Szczesny, however, is keen to fight for a place in the side.

After a decade of service at Chelsea, Cech has been told that he will be allowed to leave. Although Blues manager Jose Mourinho is reluctant to sell the Czech Republic goalkeeper to a direct rival, Chelsea have informed Cech that he will be permitted to join a club of his choosing, as thanks for his service.

Paris Saint-Germain remain potential rivals for his signature, but the 33-year-old is believed to favour a move across London.

As Chelsea goalkeeping coach Christophe Lollichon had said this week, Cech's family are settled in the city and he has no desire to leave.

Arsenal are confident that they can complete a deal with Chelsea - the fee is likely to stand at about £9 million - allowing Wenger to spend the rest of the summer attempting to strengthen his midfield.

Southampton's Morgan Schneiderlin and Bayer Leverkusen's Lars Bender are under consideration.

Meanwhile, Chelsea have made a fresh move to try to sign Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld, offering Filipe Luis the chance to return to his old club as part of the deal.

Alderweireld had impressed on loan to Southampton last season and would provide competition for John Terry and Gary Cahill, while also offering options in defensive midfield.

Mourinho has talked of wanting three signings this summer, with Radamel Falcao expected be the first arrival as he looks to seal a loan move from Monaco.

Southampton will take up their option of their loan agreement to sign Alderweireld, 26, on a permanent deal for £7 million.

However, Atletico will exercise a counter-clause that allows them to cancel the agreement by paying about £2 million to the Saints, should the Belgian defender move to another club.

Atletico believe that they can sell Alderweireld for upwards of £15 million amid strong interest from Tottenham, who are willing to offer the likes of Etienne Capoue and Roberto Soldado as part of any deal.

Luis, who cost £15.8 million last season, made only nine league starts behind Cesar Azpilicueta and recently turned down a move to Real Madrid.

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 20, 2015, with the headline 'MAKING WAY FOR CECH SIGNING'. Print Edition | Subscribe