Agent: Handanovic not Arsenal-bound

Reports linking Arsenal with an imminent move for Slovenia goalkeeper Samir Handanovic are wide of the mark, according to his agent Federico Pastorelli.

Speculation had been mounting in both the English and Italian press that the Udinese custodian was on the verge of completing a deal to join the Gunners, who have been linked with a string of shot-stoppers in recent weeks following the shaky displays of Lukas Fabianski and Manuel Almunia last season.

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But with the 26-year-old enhancing his reputation at the World Cup in South Africa, single-handedly stopping England from topping Group C on goal difference with a string of point-blank saves, Pastorelli dismissed claims that any immediate move to Emirates Stadium was on the horizon.

“No, absolutely not. I received a couple of calls from colleagues in Italy asking me about Arsenal, but the rumours are wrong because I have not received any phone calls from the club,” Pastorelli told

“Nobody from Arsenal has called me and I checked with Udinese and they told me nobody from Arsenal had called them. In this case I would say the rumours were rubbish.

“He is a top-class goalkeeper and Arsenal is looking for a top goalkeeper, but I cannot confirm that they are interested.”

Handanovic is also thought to have been earmarked as Gianluigi Buffon's eventual successor at Juventus and Pastorelli believes it will be hard to resist an offer should either the Old Lady or the Gunners approach Udinese for their 6ft 5in gloveman.

“It is quite clear that to move away from Udinese it would have to be a top club, and I would say there are only eight clubs who he would want to sign for, and Arsenal is a top club,” he continued.

By James Martini

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