Almunia expected to start league opener despite Schwarzer interest
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger will play Manuel Almunia in goal against Liverpool this Sunday, despite Mark Schwarzer’s urgency to push through a move to the Emirates before the new-season begins.
The 37-year-old has been linked with a move to North London and former boss Roy Hodgson was ready to let him go until he himself left for Anfield.
Arsenal had bid £2 million for Schwarzer but at the time Fulham were holding out for twice that amount.
However, new boss Mark Hughes has told Schwarzer that he cannot leave Craven Cottage and the Australian looks set to formally ask Fulham for a transfer.
“I need it to happen, said Schwarzer, who believes it’s his last chance to join a big club with his 38th birthday looming. I’ve had a couple of chats with Mark [Hughes]. It’s delicately poised. Who wouldn’t be keen to go to Arsenal? At this stage in my career it’s an amazing opportunity to play at that level and one I really want to take.”
“I have never sat out a game [to prove a point] and never would,” Schwarzer said. “But it needs to be resolved sooner rather than later.
“I’m not sure whether I’ll play [for Fulham] on the weekend. I’ve got a few little injury problems but we’ll have to wait and see how I pull up when I return to London.”
“It’s taken a long time and the season’s very close,” he admitted. “On one hand you understand them not wanting to disrupt too many things but I want things resolved as quickly as possible.”
“Only time will tell whether that happens or not.”
Despite having one of the best clean sheet to games ratio in Arsenal’s history – 66 from 161 games – most Gooners don’t want to see him as the Gunners’ no.1 ‘keeper this season.
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