Gunners linked with Bilbao ace

Arsenal reported to be scouting keeper

Iraizoz: Arsenal link

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Arsenal are reportedly keeping tabs on Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was in the market for a new No.1 in the summer, but he failed to land top target Mark Schwarzer.

Spanish sources now claim that Wenger dispatched scouts to check on Iraizoz in action against Atletico Madrid last week.

At first it was assumed that the likes of Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente and Fernando Amorebieta were the most likely targets, but it is now claimed that Wenger's interest was actually in Iraizoz.

The 29-year-old is considered to be one of the Primera Liga's best goalkeepers and his performances have now brought him to Arsenal's attention.

Iraizoz also has less than 12 months left on his contract at San Mames and means he would be allowed to talk to clubs in January, as he would be free to move at the end of the season.

Bilbao are keen to extend Iraizoz's deal, but as yet nothing has been agreed with the player's representatives.

However, Bilbao coach Joaquin Caparros is confident Iraizoz will pen a fresh deal, saying: "He has had for good seasons, it will not be a problem because he wants to stay and Athletic want to renew."

Coincidently, Iraizoz hails from Pamplona - the same city as current Arsenal No.1 Manuel Almunia.