Arsenal Set to Win Battle for £3.5m Premier League Veteran: Wenger to Nab Fulham Keeper Schwarzer

Emirates boss lines up Aussie keeper.

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June 19, 2010 - South Africa - Football - Ghana v Australia FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 - Group D - Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg, South Africa - 19/6/10..Australia's Mark Schwarzer.

Arsene Wenger is set to win his battle for Mark Schwarzer – after going back with a fresh £3.5million bid.

Aussie keeper Schwarzer, 37, is aware of Arsenal’s interest and has told Fulham he wants to quit Craven Cottage.

It has left Fulham boss Roy Hodgson resigned to losing Schwarzer as Arsenal close in on their top keeper target, as first revealed in Mirror Sport on May 15.

Wenger sees Schwarzer as the experienced keeper he needs to steady his defence and also not block the progress of his youngsters coming through the ranks.

Spanish first choice Manuel Almunia, who was axed at the end of the season with the club claiming he had a wrist injury, will be allowed to go but they value Polish youngster Wojciech Szczesny, 20, as a huge prospect for the future.

Wenger sent scouts to look at Schwarzer at the end of the season and has watched him personally in South Africa.

Fulham have knocked back one bid from Arsenal for around £3m but the Gunners keep going back and now the Cottagers are resigned to losing him. (Daily Mirror)

Clearly what Wenger needs is something of a short term solution. With Mannone and Szczesny coming along nicely a keeper like Mark Schwarzer would be a wise addition but one can see why Fulham are trying their hardest to prevent the Aussie from leaving Craven Cottage. However Roy Hodson is probably sensible enough to realise that it may be better to not stand in the former Middlesbrough man’s way.

At 37 the able goalie is getting on a bit, even in goalkeeping terms, but probably has a good couple of seasons in him. Manuel Almunia and Lukasz Fabianski appear to have run out of lives and its no surprise that Arsene Wenger is looking for replacements.

There has been talk of a great many keepers being lined up for Emirates moves but the likes of Hugo Lloris and Joe Hart are probably expensive options that are not necessary given the potential that Arsenal young keepers have shown.

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