Ospina to join Napoli in £3.5m transfer from Arsenal after being given selection lifeline

DAVID OSPINA will leave Arsenal for Napoli this summer regardless of whether an appearance clause is met this season.

The 30-year-old moved to the Serie A giants on a season-long loan in the summer with the view to a permanent move.

Ospina to join Napoli in £3.5m transfer from Arsenal after being given selection lifelineGetty – Contributor4 Ospina has reason to be cheerful again

But the long-term deal worth £3.5million would be automatically triggered if Ospina reached 30 outings during 2018-19.

Having played 17 times, Ospina was omitted from the side which beat FC Zurich in the Europa League last-32 first leg.

New £30m summer signing Alex Meret, who missed the start of the season with an arm injury, played instead.

Ospina feared the Italian would keep his place and therefore scupper the move to the San Paolo Stadium.

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Ospina to join Napoli in £3.5m transfer from Arsenal after being given selection lifelineReuters4 Ospina played in all of Napoli's Champions League games, including twice against Liverpool

But having been reinstated for the 0-0 draw with Torino on Sunday Ospina is seemingly back in favour.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti said: "Ospina was meant to play on Thursday in the Europa League, but wasn’t feeling up to it, so I switched things around and used him tonight instead.

"Ospina will remain at Napoli next season, regardless of how many games he plays."

After nearly five years with the Gunners, Ospina's time in England looks to be coming to an end.

Ospina to join Napoli in £3.5m transfer from Arsenal after being given selection lifelineEPA4 Ospina played in goal for Colombia in the summer – saving a Jordan Henderson spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out defeat to England

Still with over 12 months remaining on his contract, he has made 70 appearances for Arsenal, shipping 76 goals and keeping 27 clean sheets.

Though Petr Cech will retire at the end of the season Bernd Leno is firmly Unai Emery's No.1 at the club.

As a result Ospina is desperate for a move to Naples where he will battle with Meret for a regular starting berth.

When he feared the move was in doubt he told Radio Blu: “My current situation is that I am on loan for this season and there’s a clause based on the number of games, so if I play regularly, it’ll become an automatic purchase.

Ospina to join Napoli in £3.5m transfer from Arsenal after being given selection lifelineAFP or licensors4 Leno is the new No.1 at Arsenal

"When the situation doesn’t depend on me, all I can do is wait for the decisions to be made by Napoli.

"The club had just spent a lot of money on Meret, a young goalkeeper with a great future ahead of him, so I knew that when he came back from injury, this might happen."

On course for the Europa League last-16 after beating Zurich, Ancelotti's side are also enjoying a decent domestic campaign.

Sitting second in Serie A, they look on course for a fourth straight season in the Champions League, with a 15-point lead over fifth place Roma.

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