Bernd Leno has been the subject of transfer talks from Newcastle United, according to reports – while it is claimed elsewhere that Arsenal are already moving for his replacement.
Arsenal have had Bernd Leno among their goalkeeper ranks since 2018. He was their first-choice shot-stopper for his first three seasons at the Emirates Stadium. However, his position was in question when Emiliano Martinez impressed in his absence in 2020.
Ultimately, the Argentine left for Aston Villa as Arsenal kept their faith in Leno. But they struggled to find a suitable backup for him, prompting their pursuit of a new keeper in the summer of 2021.
Aaron Ramsdale arrived from Sheffield United, having suffered consecutive relegations with Bournemouth and then the Blades. Some felt it was an unnecessary signing, especially with the money involved.
But Ramsdale has exceeded all expectations and has even ousted Leno in the number one spot. Indeed, the Englishman has 19 Arsenal appearances to his name so far this season in comparison to the German’s seven.
There have been further questions of Leno’s future as a result, not least because his contract expires in 2023. If they do not offload him this year, they risk losing a £22.5m signing for free.
Leno last played for Arsenal in their shock FA Cup defeat to Nottingham Forest. In the aftermath, reports suggested manager Mikel Arteta has decided enough is enough and he will sanction his exit.
Now, 90min are reporting that Newcastle are showing an interest in the 29-year-old. In fact, they want to take him on a loan deal that would automatically become permanent if they avoid relegation from the Premier League.
Leno has apparently told Arsenal he wants out. But the Gunners would once again have worries about a lack of depth behind their main keeper if he left. Therefore, there is no guarantee they would agree.
But Newcastle have room for him if Arsenal do give the green light to his exit. They have been looking for a new goalkeeper and those plans have only intensified due to a toe injury to current first-choice Martin Dubravka.
Arsenal make move for Bernd Leno replacement
As 90min hinted, Arsenal would likely only let Leno leave if they could sign someone else to deputise for Ramsdale.
It is intriguing, then, that ESPN are reporting on the same afternoon that Arsenal have made a “strong bid” for New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner.
The 27-year-old has spent his entire club career playing in the USA but has admitted in the past that he would like to play in Europe at some point.
Arsenal may be about to offer him that opportunity, which is seen as a good one for all parties.
Turner made his debut for the USMNT in 2021, earning 13 caps before the year was out. He won the Best Goalkeeper award at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, which his country won.
The New Jersey-born keeper has played 106 games at club level for New England Revolution, keeping 23 clean sheets. He has been in the MLS since March 2018.
Another loan-to-buy Arsenal exit on offer
Meanwhile, at the other end of the pitch, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could also be on his way out of Arsenal.
Arteta fell out with his star striker following a string of disciplinary issues, stripping him of the captaincy. Aubameyang was frozen out of the side in December before he travelled to the Africa Cup of Nations to lead his country Gabon.
Newcastle want Arsenal striker Aubameyang in January
Newcastle want Aubameyang in January as they look to survive the drop
However, even more controversy has followed this month. After a night out in Dubai, he tested positive for Covid-19 ahead of the tournament kicking off.
He has consequently not featured and is now back in London amid confusion from his club.
Some reports suggested he had been diagnosed “cardiac lesions” which forced his return. Others claimed it was due to behavioural problems.
The situation surrounding Aubameyang is just getting messier for Arteta. But now a conclusion to the saga could be in sight.
That’s because CBS Sports claim Saudi side Al Nassr are keen to sign the 32-year-old.
They have supposedly submitted a proposal to take Aubameyang on loan until the end of the season. And then they would sign him permanently for €8million in the summer.
The Arsenal hierarchy are yet to respond to the offer.