According to Turkish Football, Besiktas are renewing their interest in Arsenal’s number two goalkeeper David Ospina. Besiktas made a bid for Ospina this past December, but Arsene Wenger blocked the move, as the club did not have adequate backup behind Ospina.
Besiktas Sporting Director and Chief of Transfer Committee, Gokhan Keskin, confirmed the club’s interest in the Columbian international to Turkish radio station Radyospor.
“Nothing has been agreed on yet but we are targeting Ospina.”
According to the Daily Star, the Turkish club is preparing a £3 million offer. Ospina joined the Gunners from Nice in the summer of 2014 for a £4 million fee. Considering Ospina is a Columbian international, was listed on the Ballon d’Or shortlist, and is entering the prime of his career, it’s more likely Arsenal would seek a fee of between six to £10 million.
Ospina enjoyed a good first season in London. He usurped Wojciech Szczesny as the club’s number one and performed at a high level. However, Arsenal purchased Petr Cech in the summer of 2015 and Ospina found himself on the bench once again. He made a well-publicized mistake in the Champions League group stage against Olympiakos and featured sparsely until March, when Cech suffered a thigh injury that kept him out for a month. Overall, Ospina has played well when called upon.
The Columbian international is currently in the United States with his national team as they prepare for the Copa America, which is due to start Friday. Ospina had an excellent tournament last year and will use this year’s tournament as opportunity to advertise his skills to other clubs.
It’s understandable that Ospina is seeking a move away. A keeper of his caliber should not be riding the bench, and wouldn’t be if not for the quality ahead of him. However, his future is once again tied down to that of Szczesny.
The Polish international spent the past year on loan at Roma and had a good first season in Serie A. Szczesny’s future has yet to be decided, although the academy product stated he knows where he’ll be playing next year. Whether that’s true or not has yet to be seen, but it does seem that Arsenal hold Szczesny in high regard and still see a future for him at the club.
If Szczesny stays at Arsenal next season and serves as an understudy to Cech, Ospina will be granted a move. However, if the Polish keeper goes back to Roma for a second season on loan, it’s hard to see Wenger sanctioning a move that would leave Emiliano Martinez, a player with potential but has yet to prove himself, as the club’s only back up.
This is a transfer to keep your eye on. Besiktas’ interest is genuine and it’s clear that Ospina is pushing for a move, but with so many variables in play, this story still has a few twists and turns.