Bernd Leno is reportedly set to complete his move from Bayer Leverkusen to Arsenal, who are ready to pay his £22 million buyout clause
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Arsenal look poised to sign Bernd Leno in the summer transfer window. The Gunners have held constructive talks with the Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper, who is ready to snub Napoli to move to the Emirates, in what could be a £22 million deal.
Leno has been one of the standout goalkeepers in German football ever since he joined Bayer Leverkusen from Vfb Stuttgart in 2011. Over the last seven years, the 26-year-old has been an ever present for the Rhineland club, having featured more times in Bundesliga than any other shot-stopper.
The 2017-18 season may have once again been a tough one for Bayer Leverkusen, but Leno enjoyed a stellar campaign, keeping 12 clean sheets and often being the difference between three points and zero. It is, thus, not surprising that the German international has been attracting interest from several big name clubs across Europe, including Arsenal.
The Gunners are in the midst of a summer squad remodelling following the appointment of Unai Emery, with defence believed to be in focus. Stephan Lichtsteiner was the first player to arrive at the Emirates as part of the overhaul, with Sokratis set to be signed imminently by Arsenal.
The next player who could be making his way is likely to hail from the Bundesliga as well, with Leno being a top target for Arsenal. The North Londoners do have their fair share of goalkeeping woes, with Petr Cech far from his domineering best and David Ospina not viewed as a first-choice goalkeeper.
The situation at Arsenal is so grim that many rate Arsene Wenger’s decision to sell Wojciech Szczesny as one of the worst he ever made as the club’s manager. But, the Gunners could correct those wrongs by signing Leno, who could become a long-term solution between the sticks at the Emirates.
The German international’s arrival is likely to relegate Cech to second-choice goalkeeper, with Ospina being sold in the current transfer window. Leno’s transfer valuation does not pose much of a problem to Arsenal either, who are willing to shell out his £22 million buyout clause, which is not a prohibitive amount for their restricted budget.
What further boosts their position is the fact that Leno is ready to snub Napoli, who are in the market for Pepe Reina’s replacement, to join Arsenal as well. Bayer Leverkusen are unlikely to stand in his way either, with Lukas Hradecky already signed as his replacement.
Talks between Arsenal and Leno’s representatives seem to be going smoothly, and it seems like a matter of when than if. The Gunners look well placed to sign the German international, who is likely to be on his way to the Emirates following Germany’s campaign at the World Cup.