Manninger back to Highbury?
By Paco Acedo. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
ESPANYOL are looking into the possibility of sending Alex Manninger back to Arsenal, as the keeper has failed to impress coach Juande Ramos.
Manninger had been well down the Highbury pecking order for some time, having spent last term on loan at Fiorentina, and accepted a move to Espanyol in the summer.
Despite making a permanent move, it has emerged that Espanyol inserted a clause in his contract that allows them to cancel the deal if he does not prove himself.
Manninger has not made a positive impression during pre-season, and Espanyol are considering cutting his stay in Catalunya short.
Speaking to planetfootball.com, Ramos said: "I did not request a goalkeeper and I did not know Alex. At the moment we have a greater need for a defender and a midfielder."
The clause also needs Manninger`s approval in order to be activated, meaning he could block the termination by deciding to fight for his place at Montjuic, and the keeper is trying to ignore all the speculation regarding his future.
The Austrian told planetfootball.com: "The club has not said anything to me and my objective is to continue working.
"I believe that I am doing quite well."
Ramos, though, is now said to be looking for a new keeper, and if he finds a suitable custodian before the end of the month, Manninger could be on his way back to Highbury.
One option for Espanyol is Atletico Madrid keeper Sergio, and talks have already taken place with the capital club.
Despite Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger feeling Manninger is not up to scratch, the return of the Austrian could solve a temporary problem as The Gunners are short of goalkeeping cover after selling Richard Wright to Everton and losing out on Juventus ace Fabian Carini.