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Watford close to deal for ex-Arsenal keeper Almunia

Former Arsenal ­goalkeeper Manuel Almunia is close to joining Watford on a permanent deal.

The 35-year-old was released on a free transfer at the end of last season after eight years at Arsenal having found himself marginalised by the emergence of young Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Watford were also thought to be interested in signing Tottenham keeper Carlo Cudicini but talks with Almunia are at an advanced stage and are expected to be concluded sometime next week, says the London Evening Standard.

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