Poom time for Gunners?
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sunderland keeper Mart Poom is in talks with Arsenal over a move to Highbury.Sunderland keeper Mart Poom is in talks with Arsenal over a move to Highbury.
Gunners chief Arsene Wenger is still searching for an assured pair of hands to push Jens Lehmann and Manuel Almunia for the number one spot at Highbury.
Uruguayan Sebastian Viera had been tipped to make the move to Highbury this summer, but a deal floundered at the last minute and this appeared to prompt Wenger to put his search for a new shot-stopper on the back burner.
However, it emerged over the weekend that the French tactician had been alerted to Poom's availability on a free transfer and it has now been confirmed that the Estonian has been in London for talks.
Poom was given permission to break off from the Estonian national squad's World Cup qualifying preparations in order to head to London, which would appear to suggest that a deal could be pushed through before the transfer window closes on Wednesday.
There has been no official word from either party, but Estonian coach Jelle Goes confirmed Poom had been in London.
"Poom needs to rest, he has a long flight from England to Tallinn behind him," said Goes at a press conference. "Things with Poom will clear up soon - whether he plays, sits on the bench or isn't involved at all."
Poom is in the final year of his contract and it is being suggested he will head to North London on a free transfer, provided Arsenal agree to the season-long loan of defender Justin Hoyte.
Hoyte is held in high regard at Arsenal, but has little chance of securing regular playing time for The Gunners this term and a loan could suit all parties.
Poom is in the veteran stage of his career, but he has proved a reliable keeper for Derby and Sunderland and would be an able deputy for Lehmann at Highbury.