Italian sources claim the 33-year-old has chosen to link up with former Chelsea boss Rafa Benitez at last season’s Serie A runners-up, despite firm interest from the Gunners.

Arsene Wenger was said to be willing to spend £1.5million on the Brazilian shot-stopper, who he had earmarked to rival Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski for the Gunners’ no.1 spot.

However, Benitez has seemingly stolen a march on his old Premier League rival, and is reported to have convinced Cesar to return to Italy, where he first made his name with Inter Milan.

Cesar had previously indicated his family were settled in London, and with QPR desperate to get his wages off the books, a permanent move to Arsenal seemed the most likely possibility.