Premier League • England

Arsenal transfer news: Leno agent takes shot at Arteta and Ramsdale amid positive update on Prem switch

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno alongside manager Mikel Arteta

The agent of Bernd Leno appeared to take a swipe at the Arsenal goalkeeping situation after providing a positive update on his proposed move to Fulham.

Leno had been Arsenal’s No 1 between the sticks in each of his first three seasons in north London. However, last year’s arrival of Aaron Ramsdale saw the German quickly relegated to bench duties.

Indeed, Ramsdale was given the nod on matchday four and never looked back. He quickly established himself as a dependable option and rarely gave Leno a sniff.

Leno made just one more league appearance after August. That came when Ramsdale was ruled out against Aston Villa in March with a hip injury.

With American Matt Turner already signed and arriving this summer, Leno’s time at the Emirates is due to conclude.

He has one year remaining on his deal, meaning Arsenal won’t be able to recoup his true value.

Indeed, a report from Portugal detailing Benfica’s interest claimed Arsenal are only seeking £8.5m. That is £14m short of the £22.5m Arsenal paid Bayer Leverkusen in 2018.

The Athletic reported Fulham were in talks over a move across the capital. The newly-promoted Cottagers are seeking an upgrade on Marek Rodak and Paulo Gazzaniga and Leno would represent a real coup for Marco Silva’s side.

Arsenal stars Rob Holding, Bernd Leno and Ben White

Now, Leno’s agent, Joannis Koukoutrigas, has shed new light on the latest state of play.

Koukoutrigas confirmed Fulham’s interest and added the London side are “trying hard” to land the stopper. But in doing so, he also appeared to suggest Arsenal have got their goalkeeping decision wrong last season.

Bernd Leno “clear No 1”

“He is a German national goalkeeper, has always performed well at Arsenal and is an absolute team player,” Koukoutrigas told German publication Bild.

“For me personally, Bernd is also the clear No 1 at Arsenal, with all due respect to the competitors.

“Yes, Fulham is trying hard to get Bernd. Very professionally.

“This is also true for some other clubs and shows his status. But as I said, for me he is the No 1 at Arsenal and we are therefore also relaxed.”

Did Arteta get Leno, Ramsdale call wrong?

Clearly, Arteta did not echo Koukoutrigas’ sentiments with Ramsdale his preferred gloveman last year.

It is hard to argue against the Spanish boss with Ramsdale exceeding expectations at club level. Furthermore, his Arsenal displays saw him establish himself in the England set-up.

Whether Ramsdale was signed to usurp Leno or to simply compete with the German is immaterial now.

Ramsdale was given his chance and took it with both hands. The ends justify the means in this regard.