Emirates boss plots move for Dutch international.
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Ajax are braced for a January bidding war between Manchester United and Arsenal for goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg.
The Premier League giants have both been scouting the 6’6″ shot-stopper in recent weeks and are set to do battle for the Netherlands international when the transfer window opens.
But the bidding for Stekelenburg will start at £9 million, with Ajax refusing to let him leave on the cheap.
The 28-year-old was watched by United scouts as he starred for the Netherlands against Finland last month and again last week when he played for Ajax against AC Milan in the Champions League.
Arsenal have also sent representatives to watch Stekelenburg in recent weeks as manager Arsene Wenger finally looks to address his goalkeeping situation and bring in a reliable No.1 to replace the error-prone Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski. (Goal.com)
Would it be fair to say that Arsene Wenger put all his eggs in one basket when he went all in for Fulham veteran Mark Schwarzer? It meant that when that bid failed the Gunners had to make do with Manuel Almunia and in true time honoured fashion the Spaniard dropped a clanger or two against West Brom.
Lukasz Fabianski allowed a pedestrian effort from Robbie Keane to get past him in the Carling Cup encounter with Tottenham but was fairly impressive against Partizan but still by no means has the confidence of his boss or the club’s supporters, so in many ways Maarten Stekelenburg is the one who got away.
Financial problems at the Eredivisie club meant that it is quite possible that had the right bid come in for the Dutch international keeper then he may well have gone and the giant keeper would have been a solid player to have behind the back four. At present those placed in front of both Almunia and Flap-ianski have had a few uneasy moments that have probably been chiefly brought on by knowing the custodian behind them is not top notch.
A move in January will very much depend on whether Ajax are still competing in the Champions League as the 28 year old is less likely to want to leave Amsterdam if they are still involved in the tournament.