Gunners linked with Lisbon bid
25 May 2005 00:00
Arsenal are said to be stepping up their interest in Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper Ricardo with a view to taking him to Highbury.
Ricardo has been strongly linked with a summer move to the Premiership, with Liverpool and Newcastle United also on his trail, but he is also set for talks on his future after Portugal’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Newcastle are reportedly ready to offer Hugo Viana as a makeweight in a deal for Ricardo but Arsenal could now beat their Premiership rivals to the punch.
Portugal international Ricardo has caught the eye of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and he has been closely watched in recent months and there is also interest in the shot-stopper from Spain but a decision on his future is unlikely to be taken until the middle of June.
Sporting would be loathe to lose the 29-year-old, but his agent Nuno Baptista has confirmed there is interest from England.
Ricardo is due to feature in Portugal’s World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and Estonia and Baptista confirmed talks with Sporting will be held after the game in Tallinn on June 8.
“As a great player, Ricardo has received some offers,” Baptista told O Jogo.
“But earlier we had taken the decision to talk with Sporting after his commitments with the national team.”