Arsenal are reportedly edging closer to completing a move for Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Julio Cesar.
The Brazil international is expected to leave the Hoops at the end of the season, as the west London outfit will return to the Championship after a two-year spell in the English top flight. And according to the Mirror, the Gunners are now favourites to sign the 33-year-old in the summer.
Cesar joined QPR last summer on a free transfer, following a highly successful seven-year spell with Inter Milan. And though Harry Redknapp's side could not beat the drop this term, the veteran stopper's performances throughout the season have received rave reviews from pundits and fans.
The report claims the Hoops are willing to let Cesar leave on a cut-price deal so they can get his £70,000-a-week package off their wage bill. AC Milan are understood to be keen on taking the goalkeeper back to Italy but the Mirror believes the Emirates is his most likely destination.
Arsene Wenger is in the market for a proven, experienced goalkeeper to ease the pressure on his current No 1, Wojciech Szczesny, and also to help the youngster develop into a better stopper.
Hamburg's Rene Adler, Stoke City's Asmir Begovic and Stuttgart's Sven Ulreich are also understood to be on Arsenal's radar but it now appears Cesar has emerged the top contender to clinch the move.
The Brazilian had recently confirmed that he would leave QPR at the end of the season but refused to reveal his destination.
"[Redknapp] had told me that I wouldn't start any more games as I won't be staying at the club. Now he has asked me to play the last game, and that makes me happy. I will try to play well and do my best," the stopper said.
"It is confidential. My future today is a question mark. I have three more years on my contract, but the manager has already made it clear that it will be hard for me to stay at the club. I am happy he thinks that way, it is a sign that my work is being recognised," Cesar added.