AS Roma have the option to sign Wojciech Szczesny on a permanent basis next summer for just £5million. The goalkeeper left Arsenal for the Serie A outfit on an initial season-long loan deal this week, but will become a permanent resident in the Italian capital if he impresses.
This is according to a report in The Mirror with the well connected John Cross saying Szczesny's future at Arsenal is as good as over. That is in stark contrast to the words of Arsene Wenger, who claimed the Poland international still had every chance of returning to north London to reclaim his No1 jersey.
When confirming the loan deal, Wenger told reporters: “I believe he will have a future at Arsenal. I personally rate him highly – you do not take a boy and put him in the first team at the age of 20 [if you don’t]. He already has huge experience. I don’t want that experience at such a young age to be wasted.”
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But Wenger clearly gave Szczesny a vote of no confidence when signing Petr Cech from Chelsea. The 33-year-old completed a £10m deal last month and signed a four-year deal. If he continues the form he showed for the Blues, the vastly experienced shot-stopper will be Arsenal's first-choice for some time.
At 25-years-old, it was conceivable that Szczesny will take the reigns back from Cech when he hangs up his gloves. However, the £5m fee agreed with Roma is a sign that Arsenal were ready to sell this summer, but could not convince the Serie A side to commit.
For a man with over 100 appearances for one of Europe's biggest clubs, £5m seems incredibly cheap, especially considering that Szczesny could still play at the highest level for another decade. Roma paid an upfront fee of £250,000 for the loan.
It suggests that Wenger has lost faith in the man he originally signed as a 15-year-old and considering his behaviour have the past 12 months, plenty would consider the Frenchman's actions as justified.
Szczesny was enduring a difficult spell in the Arsenal side when disaster struck on New Year's Day. Two cataclysmic errors allowed Southampton to run away with a 2-0 win and Szczesny drowned his sorrows by smoking in the dressing room showers after full time.
He was caught and fined £20,000 by Wenger. That's nothing for a man who reportedly earns £80,000-a-week, but the biggest blow came when he lost his place in the starting line-up to David Ospina.
Is £5m too cheap for Wojciech Szczesny or should Arsenal be happy with that fee? Give us YOUR thoughts in the comment box below!