Gunners' keeper frenzy
By Adam Marshall & Patrick Haond & Ugur Cakir
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is believed to have made contact with a whole host of keepers across the globe, as he looks for a replacement for broken leg victim Rami Shaaban.
A short-term signing is certain to be wrapped up before the transfer window closes, but the identity of Wenger's top target has yet to be revealed.
Instead, the astute French coach has taken players on trial, attempted to set up temporary stints at Highbury, or made general enquiries about numerous possible targets.
One man who has definitely been in North London is Bulgarian number one Zdravko Zdravkov (pictured), who plays for Chernomore in his homeland.
"I was not on trial but on a friendly visit," stressed the shaven-headed shot-stopper, who spent five days in the English capital.
"I had only one training session with England's champions, and I think I've shown I'm in good shape, although I didn't train during Christmas and New Year."
Turkish star Rustu Recber has also been eyed by Wenger, but he is more likely to be a top summer target, and a strong candidate to eventually displace veteran number one David Seaman.
"He won't move in January," stated the Fenerbahce ace's agent Saffet Sancakli.
"Both because of his injury, and because Fenerbahce are fighting for the championship.
"Rustu definitely does not want to leave during the winter break."
The World Cup hero is extremely fond of Fenerbahce, and a surprise U-turn to sign a new contract cannot be completely ruled out, but the likelihood is that he will be one of the most attractive Bosman free transfers come June.
Paraguayan international Ricardo Tavarelli has claimed he has received an offer from The Gunners, and Sebastian Saja of San Lorenzo is believed to have been the subject of talks involving the English Double winners.
Italian Angelo Peruzzi has also been forwarded as a candidate, and Greek contacts claim that Panathinaikos keeper Stefanos Kotsolis is set to travel to London in order to undertake a trial with Wenger's men.
The 23-year-old former Greek Under-21 captain is very highly regarded in his homeland.
Furthermore, Monaco veteran Tony Sylva (pictured) now heads the list of French-based keepers being linked with a switch to Highbury.
The Senegal international is currently number two at Stade Louis II, and would be able to offer experienced cover for Seaman during the remainder of the campaign.
Arsenal scouts have also been spotted in Germany with FC Nurnberg's number one Darius Kampa and 1860 Munich shot-stopper Simon Jentzsch coming under the microscope of late.
One thing that is for certain is that Wenger will carefully ponder his options before choosing which keeper to introduce to his squad, as he did when signing Shabaan last year.