Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno has admitted sending messages to Borussia Dortmund’s Julian Brandt to aid the Gunners pursuit of the midfielder.
The north Londoners have been linked with the 25-year-old for some time. Manager Mikel Arteta is keen to secure loan star Martin Odegaard on a permanent contract. But his hefty price tag appears to have priced them out of the market and Brandt is a more affordable alternative.
Arteta is desperate to add quality to his ranks this summer after a woeful season by Arsenal’s standards. And Brandt would certainly fall into that category having made 35 appearances for Germany.
It is thought that the former Bayer Leverkusen ace has a release clause of just £22m. That would make him an attractive prospect for Arsenal or any other interested party this summer.
It is claimed that the Bremen-born ace is eyeing a summer move. And Leno is happy to do his part to ensure he arrives at the Emirates Stadium.
“I read the rumours with Arsenal and wrote him a few messages right away,” he told Sport 1. “I don’t know what is really there, but I would be happy if he would come.
“Julian is a good friend, we had a very good time in Leverkusen and privately we were often out for beers. Maybe we can experience that again in the future. He’s also invited to my wedding next year.”
Leno commits to Arsenal
Recent rumours suggested that Leno was angling for a move away from the club. And it was suggested last week that he was set to be jettisoned in the off-season.
May 17 Transfer Chatter: Man Utd to pay for Varane and Arsenal plan summer clearout
Man Utd will pay the £60m asking price for Raphael Varane and want more defenders, while Arsenal look set to let David Luiz and Willian go in the summer.
However, the man with eight Germany caps to his name wants to stay and help bring back the good times.
“I don’t want to flee here, I feel good and want to be successful again with Arsenal,” he added. “Arsenal are a big club, which is extremely underestimated in Germany, there are many Arsenal fans all over the world.
“I still have a two-year contract and hope to play in the Champions League again with Arsenal.”
Arsenal are next in action when they make the short trip across London to face Crystal Palace on Wednesday. Arteta’s charges have won three straight top-flight games and will want to finish in style.
And they will have an opportunity to do that against Brighton when Graham Potter’s side arrive for Sunday’s season finale.