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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Roma open talks with Arsenal for Wojciech Szczesny loan - sources

Roma have opened talks with Arsenal over a loan deal for their Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, a source has told ESPN FC.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has publicly expressed his hope that Szczesny and David Ospina would battle it out for a starting spot in his side this season, despite the high-profile arrival of Petr Cech from Chelsea last month.

That always seemed to be an improbable prospect, with Wenger unlikely to be able to keep a trio of international keepers content in the upcoming campaign.

Widespread reports had suggested that Colombian stopper Ospina was the favourite to make his way out of Arsenal just a year after he arrived from Nice, but it is Szczesny who has actively sought to find a new club in recent weeks.

One of the potential deals under discussion between Arsenal and Roma is a season-long loan with the option to turn the transfer into a permanent move next summer. Szczesny is believed to be keen to pursue a career at a new club after an often-turbulent decade at Arsenal.

Wenger has stood by Szczesny and constantly insisted he would develop into a world-class performer amid plenty of criticism from the club's supporters since the keeper made his way through their youth team ranks before his first-team breakthrough arrived during the 2010-11 season.

While Wenger has always been eager to back Szczesny, he dropped the keeper for a crucial Champions League game against Bayern Munich in March 2013 after some high-profile errors and the 25-year-old fell out of favour with his manager again last January, as he was fined and dropped once again for smoking in the dressing room showers following a poor performance in a 2-0 defeat at Southampton.

Ospina replaced Szczesny for Premier League games in the final months of the season, but he did play a full part in their FA Cup run, which culminated in a victory against Aston Villa in the final at Wembley last May.

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