Tuttosport reported last week that Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger is interested in taking two of Serie A’s brightest starlets to North London this summer, Lazio’s twenty-three year old goal keeper Fernando Muslera, and Catania’s twenty-one year old striker Takayuki Morimoto.
Arsenal have also been linked with Lazio striker Mauro Zarate this summer, as well as Bari defenders Andrea Ranocchia and Leonardo Bonucci, and Arsene Wenger is known to be paying close attention to Serie A in an effort to find value in the transfer market this summer.
Fernando Muslera joined Lazio in 2007, and has since worked his way into the first team. The youngster is highly-rated in Italy, and at just 23 the Uruguayan shot-stopper is also now first choice for his country as the World Cup approaches this summer. Muslera’s contract with Lazio expires in 2011 but could be terminated at the end of the season according to FIFA’s article 17, whereby a player can pay compensation, and technically buy his way out of a contract.
Muslera is said to be close to signing a new contract with Lazio, but it is thought that Muslera could still be convinced to swap Rome for London. Muslera told Sky Sports:
“It is important that a Premier League club like Arsenal have been monitoring my progress and it motivates me to play even better.”
With Manuel Almunia, Łukasz Fabiański and Vito Mannone all struggling to convince at the Emirates, a move for the young, highly-rated Uruguayan would not break the bank, and could come to fruition this summer.
Takayuki Morimoto on the other hand is a name that Premier League football fans may be slightly more familiar with. The twenty-one year old Japanese striker has been linked with Manchester United on numerous occasions over the last year, with Morimoto admitting to itasportpress.it.:
“I read about an interest in me from Mr Ferguson’s club…I called my agent, who told me that he had not spoken with the English team.
I like the Premier League that I watch on TV, but also the Liga and Serie A championships are just as interesting.”
Tuttosport and other Italian agencies are now suggesting that Morimoto has now caught the eye of Wenger, and the Frenchman will continue to scout the Japan forward, with Morimoto set to take part in the World Cup this summer with his country.
Morimoto holds the record as the youngest Japanese player to make his professional debut at just 15 years, 10 months and 6 days old, and is the youngest scorer in J. League history. Alexander Pato has compared Morimoto, who joined Catania in 2006, to a young (Brazilian) Ronaldo for the combination of his size, strength and speed.
Morimoto made his full senior debut for Japan against Togo on 14 October 2009, grabbing a goal himself in a 5-0 victory.
You can catch Morimoto in action here on youtube
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