Premier League rivals "will fight Arsenal" for Championship stopper

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Arsenal will face competition from Aston Villa for Middlesbrough’s young goalkeeper Jason Steele, according to the Mirror.

’Boro manager Tony Mowbray has insisted he will not lose his highly rated keeper in January but reports state the two Barclays Premier League clubs ‘will fight’ for his signature.

Arsenal were the first team to be linked with his signing after former Arsene Wemger target Mark Schwarzer signed a new two-year contract at Fulham.

The Gunners are looking for a new stopper after Lucasz Fabianski made a number of high profile blunders but the Pole looks determined to keep hold of his No.1 spot at the Emirates Stadium.

But now new Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has earmarked Steele as a replacement for ageing keeper Brad Friedel.

The Villains are reportedly willing to match Arsenal’s valuation of Steele, which is set at around £4 million, and Middlesbrough could be tempted,

The Riverside Stadium club are currently struggling for form in the Championship and do not have a lot of funds available to Mowbray.

However, they will be conscious of the fact they have already lost Australian keeper Brad Jones to Liverpool at the start of the season.

Steele will also be aware that Jones has been on the bench at Anfield and, with Pepe Reina now looking set to stay, does not look likely to get much game time any time soon.

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Jason Steele
Premier League

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