Arsenal to agree £22m deal with Bayer Leverkusen for 26-year-old

According to Bild, Arsenal are set to agree a £22m deal with Bayer Leverkusen for goalkeeper Bernd Leno. The 26-year-old will be Unai Emery’s second signing since being appointed manager and will challenge Petr Cech for a starting place next season.

His arrival would also raise questions over the future of David Ospina who has been second-choice to Cech and is in the last year of his deal at the Emirates Stadium. The Colombian has tried to leave Arsenal in 2016 and 2017 and may now be granted his wish as he’d struggle for playing time with Leno and Cech ahead of him in the pecking order.

Leno kept 100 clean sheets in 304 appearances for Leverkusen after joining from Vfb Stuttgart in 2012 and has become a German international in the last few years, although he didn’t make the World Cup squad this summer. The 26-year-old was a regular at club level last season, keeping 10 clean sheets in 33 Bundesliga games and is expected to be the future No.1 for Arsenal.

Cech has one year remaining on his deal with the Gunners and was given the No.1 jersey this summer, but Leno won’t be signed to sit on the bench next season. Emery might give the two ‘keepers the chance to fight for a starting place in pre-season.

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Crippy Cooke

Crippy can be found on Twitter (@CrippyCooke) He is a sports journalist who has written for the Independent, Bleacher Report, Huffington Post, Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph among others. Crippy treats football gossip with a dash of cynicism and loves tearing apart outlandish rumours.