Arsenal Eye Unsettled Tottenham Stopper - Report
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | November 16, 2012 11:05 PM EST
Arsenal are reportedly interested in unsettled Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris. The 25 year old Frenchman, who signed for Spurs from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon in the summer, is understood to be unhappy with a lack of playing time and may force a move out of White Hart Lane. However, Spurs are believed to be unwilling to sell the France international, who they see as a long-term successor to present No 1, Brad Friedel.
Tottenham's £12m signing has barely featured this season, with the 41 year old Friedel monopolising game time and enjoying manager Andre Villas-Boas' confidence. Lloris has played in all of the club's European games (in the UEFA Europa League) this season and the 2-1 defeat at Carrow Road in the Capital One Cup. His only league appearance, though, was at home to Wigan, which the club lost 0-1.
Lloris' continued exclusion from Spurs' first team has also lead to France coach Didier Deschamps publically criticising the former Chelsea manager. Deschamps, 44, a former Blues midfielder, and AVB have had a few heated exchanges through press reports this season. Deschamps has also warned his compatriot he cannot expect to play for the national side if he is not a regular at the club level, meaning Lloris will now have to consider forcing Tottenham's hand to maintain his international berth.
Arsene Wenger does have a long-standing interest in Lloris. The Gunners were linked with a move for the goalkeeper in July, when he was still with Lyon. At that time, Liverpool were also interested in his services.
The Gunners have the Polish duo of Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski and Italian Vito Mannone but there are reports Wenger wants a more serious competitor to Szczesny for the No 1 spot. Meanwhile, the Reds have Spanish international Pepe Reina as their No 1 and Australian Brad Jones as back-up. However, Jones' contract expires at the end of the season and the club's lack of success has led to hints Reina may leave Anfield.
Ordinarily, given Spurs' determination to hold on to Lloris, a transfer would have been both difficult and expensive. However, the fact the player himself has admitted his situation is "difficult to accept" suggests that should he look to force the issue, a cut-price deal may be possible.
"I feel much at ease at the club but then again everything is possible. The coach of Tottenham has made his choice. I'm training and I do the maximum but it is difficult and hard to accept," Lloris was quoted as saying, adding, "Such questions over my position must also be asked to the coach. When you're a competitor, you want to be on the pitch."
Incidentally, Arsenal host Tottenham in the north London derby this weekend but Lloris is unlikely to start the game.
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