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Arsenal poised to sign Celta keeper

June 08, 2004 17:32 IST

English champions Arsenal are poised to sign Celta Vigo goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, a spokesman for the Spanish club said on Tuesday.

Celta spokesman Sabino Lopez told sports daily Marca that the 27-year-old, who played on loan at Albacete in the Primera Liga last season, would join Arsenal subject to a brief trial at the club.

"I'm really proud that a side like Arsenal have picked me out," Almunia told Marca.

"I knew that there had been some contact between the clubs, but I never expected this because I was convinced I would be playing with Celta in the second division next season."

Arsenal declined to comment on any move for the player.

Almunia signed for Celta on a free transfer from Osasuna three years ago, but has never played for the club who instead chose to loan him out to Eibar, Recreativo Huelva and Albacete in successive seasons.

He began last season as second choice to Carlos Roa at Albacete, but an injury to the experienced Argentine propelled him into the first team and he played a large role in helping them retain their status in the top flight.

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