Roma move for Arsenal target Julio Cesar as Wallace loan swoop stalls

The Serie A club have made an enquiry for the QPR goalkeeper as their loan pursuit of his fellow Brazilian, who joined Chelsea in December, stands on the verge of collapse

By Wayne Veysey

Roma are ready to rival Arsenal for the signature of Julio Cesar as their loan swoop for Chelsea newcomer Wallace stalls.

New Giallorossi coach Rudi Garcia has told the club that he wants an experienced goalkeeper for next season and has set his sights on the Brazilian, who is set to leave QPR after they were relegated from the Premier League.

Roma were preparing for talks with Chelsea about a season-long loan deal for Wallace, the 19-year-old Brazilian right-back who joined the Londoners last December, but it could collapse due to Serie A restrictions about the number of non-EU players per squad.

Arsenal have held preliminary talks with QPR about signing Cesar but are biding their time to avoid overpaying for the 33-year-old.

Rangers need to offload the Brazil No.1 from their wage bill – he is believed to earn around 93,000-a-week – as they prepare for life in the Championship.

Roma are ready to prioritise a move for Cesar ahead of Wallace, with rules preventing top-flight Italian clubs from signing more than two players each year from outside the European Union.

The Giallarossi‘s sporting director, Walter Sabatini, had lined up a move for Santos keeper Rafael Cabral, 22, to replace Maarten Stekelenburg, who joined Fulham in June, but Garcia is believed to want a battle-hardened No.1 and has targeted Cesar, whose situation is also being monitored by AC Milan.

The veteran shot-stopper is available for a nominal fee of little more than £1 million, although his wage demands almost put him out of Roma’s reach.

As reported by Goal, Arsenal are willing to match Cesar’s current deal and offer him a two-year deal with the option of a third year, although Arsene Wenger is likely to stop short of guaranteeing him the No.1 spot ahead of Wojciech Szczesny.

Speaking before the Confederations Cup earlier in June, the Brazil star confirmed that negotiations were ongoing with several other clubs.

“There are indeed talks with some teams but nothing definitive,” he explained. “I want to stay in England. I am enjoying London and I love the Premier League.”

“I won’t name the teams as it would not be ethical since I am under contract with QPR. I let people responsible for my career deal with it.”

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