According to the latest reports on sport.virgilio.it Arsenal and Spurs are both interested in signing Palermo goalkeeper Emilio Viviano, who is also being monitored by both Torino and Fiorentina.
Viviano, who is co-owned by Inter Milan and Palermo, has recently established himself as one of the most reliable and promising goalkeepers in Serie A. Unfortunately for him, he is number two to Gianluigi Buffon for the Italian National team and was unable to maintain a regular place in the Inter Milan starting line-up thanks to Julio Cesar. As a result, he then moved to Palermo earlier this year in search of increased game time.
That Arsenal may be looking for another goalkeeper is not beyond the realm of possibility. In my opinion we need a new keeper who will really put pressure on Wojciech Szczesny, who perhaps is becoming slightly complacent given that there are no other strong goalkeepers that are hot on his heels. Arsenal also need to provide some strength in depth just incase Szczesny does become injured. At 26-years-old, Viviano has lots of experience that he could pass on to Wojciech; Szczesny is only 22 and therefore not as experienced. I have noticed that occasionally he can be slightly naïve. Don’t get me wrong – I think he can become a great keeper. I just think that he needs somebody there to help/mentor him.
Tottenham, however, need a new keeper for completely different reasons. Brad Friedel is 41 years old and will retire within the next year or two, while Heurelho Gomez seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth.
The idea of co-ownership is particularly difficult to understand for those of us who do not regularly follow Italian football. As is suggested by the name, co-ownership is a system whereby two football clubs co-own the contract of a player, but the player is only registered to play for one club. However, this system is pretty rare and is only really used in Italy, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.
Inter paid £3.5m to secure the rights to Viviano in January 2009, while Palermo bought out Genoa’s half in January of this year. The players agent confirmed last summer that there was interest from Arsenal, so it is very possible that we are still interested a year later. He is thought to be valued at somewhere in the region of £8 million, although I am a bit confused about how Arsenal would go about paying for him and with which club they would have to negotiate. I imagine that we would have to agree a fee with both clubs as it is almost unheard of for players in the Premier League to be co-owned.