According to The S*n, Arsenal’s Head of Recruitment Sven Mislintat has identified Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper Bernd Leno as a long-term replacement for Petr Cech, but the 2018 World Cup this summer might get in the way of negotiations.
Under the instruction of manager Arsene Wenger, Mislintat has scoured the Bundesliga for a talented shot-stopper who could improve the squad and is open to a move to the Emirates, and Leno appears to tick all the boxes.
With Petr Cech and David Ospina out of contract in less than 18 months, Arsenal have to act fast to sign an adequate replacement. Leno is expected to make the Germany squad at this summer’s World Cup in Russia and has been a good servant for Leverkusen – 98 clean sheets in 297 appearances in all competitions.
The S*n say Leno could cost Arsenal £25m, which would make him their most expensive ever goalkeeper signing. The 26-year-old’s contract still has four years to run at the BayArena but he’s believed to be open for a new challenge which could boost Arsenal’s hopes of landing his signature.
The 2018 World Cup could be a distraction in negotiations, however, unless the Gunners could get Leno before the tournament starts in mid-June. A deal to sign the talented shot-stopper might not be completed until after the final in mid-July or when Germany return home.