Ospina eyes South America switch as Napoli back Meret

By Stephen Creek 16 February 2019 257
Ospina eyes South America switch as Napoli back Meret

Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina said a move back to South America is "a possibility" after Alex Meret's return to fitness left him frozen out at Napoli, where he arrived on loan at the start of the season.

The Colombia international has made 10 Serie A appearances for the Partenopei since joining on a season-long deal that gave Napoli the option to sign him permanently.

Ospina made the switch to Stadio San Paolo when Meret broke his arm just six days after signing from Udinese for €22million, but a clause in the loan deal means that Napoli will be obliged to sign him permanently if he continues to play.

"I knew this might happen," Ospina told Radio Blu.

"My current situation is that I am on loan for this season and there's a clause based on the number of games, so if I play regularly, it'll become an automatic purchase.

"When the situation doesn't depend on me, all I can do is wait for the decisions to be made by Napoli. The club had just spent a lot of money on Meret, a young goalkeeper with a great future ahead of him, so I knew that when he came back from injury, this might happen.

"He's a great keeper, a lovely guy and he'll make a real name for himself in future."

Ospina is third in the pecking order at Arsenal, where Bernd Leno has established himself as the Gunners' first choice ahead of Petr Cech.

At the age of 30, Ospina indicated he is open to a move that will bring him regular first-team football and expressed an interest in a return to his home continent.

He added: "I want to continue playing in Europe, although a return to South American football is always a possibility.

"I am open for a move closer to home."

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