Arsenal were strongly interested in signing goalkeeping prodigy Andriy Lunin, but have reportedly been beaten to it by Inter Milan
Arsenal have been dealt a huge blow in their pursuit of 19-year old Ukrainian starlet Andriy Lunin, as Inter Milan are set to beat off competition to sign the teenager, as per reports from Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport.
Arsenal had been hot on the heels of Lunin, who plies his trade for Ukrainian outfit Zorya Luhansk, as they seek a long-term replacement for veteran shot-stopper Petr Cech.
Having joined Arsenal in the summer of 2015 from London rivals Chelsea, the former Czech Republic international has made 112 appearances for the Gunners till date, winning an FA Cup trophy in the process. However, his time at the Emirates stadium seems to be coming towards an end.
The 35-year old hasn’t been in the best of forms this season and has made some high-profile mistakes over the course of the campaign, rather uncharacteristically. His reflexes and positioning have been suspect at times and the lack of consistency in his performances this term has forced the club into seeking a replacement.
The long-term future of second choice goalkeeper David Ospina too is up in the air, which has led to Arsenal looking for a resolution for the situation and as a result, they were keen on landing Lunin.
Lunin came through the Metalist Kharkiv youth academy, before enjoying a two-year spell with Dnipro between 2015 and 2017. The 19-year old joined Zorya Luhansk in the summer of 2017 and has made 29 appearances in all competitions, managing to keep 9 clean sheets.
The promising talent was handed his first cap for the Ukrainian national team by the legendary Andriy Shevchenko last month in an international friendly against Saudi Arabia.
Lunin has been heralded as one of the most promising young custodians across Europe and has attracted plenty of interest from various quarters. Last month, Arsenal’s Premier League rivals Liverpool too were linked with a move for the 19-year old, while Italian champions Juventus too have been credited with some degree of interest.
However, it seems Inter have stolen a march on all their competitors with a deal reportedly in place with Zorya to sign Lunin. As per the deal, the goalkeeper will sign for the Nerrazzurri and return to Luhansk for a season-long loan.
Arsenal have been linked with a move for German shot-stopper Bernd Leno of Bayer Leverkusen recently, while the name of Timo Horn has also been mentioned. The Gunners are very much guaranteed to bring in a new goalkeeper before the next season kicks off and it remains to be seen who will take over the mantle from Cech.