Emirates legend reveals Gunners boss wanted Spanish star as his number one.
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger desperately tried to sign Liverpool goalkeeper Pepe Reina last summer according to Gunners legend Bob Wilson.
The goalkeeping crisis at Arsenal has imploded in the last few years with Manuel Almunia constantly making errors, costing his team vital points.
Wilson says Wenger lost patience with the Spaniard and wanted to sign his compatriot Pepe Reina but could not persuade Liverpool to sell.
“He went for arguably the best goalkeeper in the country at the beginning of the season,” he said to Absolute Radio. “He went for in the close season Pepe Reina.
“It didn’t become known. He [Arsene Wenger] doesn’t do it that way.
“He offered a huge amount of money, so he tried like mad to do that [deal].”
Wenger was also interested in Fulham’s Mark Schwarzer and Schalke’s Manuel Neuer but could not seal any deal, leaving Almunia as Wenger’s only option.
But Almunia again lived up to his infamous reputation by costing Arsenal three points at home to West Bromwich Albion.
Wenger dropped his number one for Lukasz Fabianski, who was performing well until he got injured leaving Wojciech Szczesny as the only fit keeper at the club.
He was also earning praise for his performances until a dislocated finger put him on the sidelines causing the manager to re-insert Almunia in goal.
Wenger re-signed Jens Lehmann as emergency cover, but may have to play the 41-year-old as Almunia again made errors in last Saturday’s 2-2 draw with West Brom.
But Wilson does not expect Wenger to follow up the move for Reina at the end of this season and believes the Frenchman has already found the right shot-stopper.
“I happen to think that Szczesny will be in Arsenal’s goal for many years to come.”