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David Ospina joins Napoli on loan from Arsenal with option for permanent move

Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina has joined Napoli on a season-long loan, with the Serie A side holding an option to buy on a permanent basis next summer.

The Italian club announced Ospina's move on Friday, after Arsenal coach Unai Emery said last week that the Colombia international was free to leave.

While the deal is for a loan initially, Ospina has likely played his final game for the Gunners and Napoli have an option to buy him, reportedly for around €4 million.

Ospina was surplus to requirements at the Emirates after Arsenal brought in Bernd Leno this summer to provide competition for Petr Cech.

Ospina joined the Gunners from Nice in 2014 and initially overtook Wojciech Szczesny for the No. 1 spot. However, he has remained a backup at the Emirates ever since Cech was brought in from Chelsea in 2015 and has played just 27 Premier League matches.

He was used mainly as the cup goalkeeper by Arsene Wenger, and helped the team beat Chelsea in last year's FA Cup final at Wembley.

Napoli had been in the market for a new goalkeeper for much of the summer and Guillermo Ochoa appeared to be their preferred choice. However, club president Aurelio De Laurentiis later ruled out a move for the Mexico international.

Having lost Pepe Reina, Napoli signed 21-year-old Alex Meret as a replacement -- only for the former Udinese man to suffer a broken arm in training which has ruled him out for the start of the Serie A campaign.

Napoli begin the season this weekend with trip to Lazio before welcoming AC Milan for their second match.