Arsenal set to increase transfer windfall as Edu opens surprise £19.2m transfer talks – Chris Davison
Bernd Leno is one of several Arsenal stars set to leave the Emirates this summer after a season that saw him become second-choice to newcomer Aaron Ramsdale.
The Germany international established himself as a reliable number one over a three-year spell after joining a £19.2million move, but Ramesdale’s arrival and subsequent performances soon meant Mikel Arteta had a new favorite in town.
Subsequently, Leno made just eight starts in all competitions during the 2021/22 campaign, and now he’s set to find a new club as a result. The 30-year-old also has one year left on his current deal, so Arsenal are understandably keen to secure him a fee while they still can. The imminent arrival of New England Revolution’s Matt Turner is also a key factor, with the USMNT stopper set to be his replacement.
READ MORE: Arsenal ‘accidentally’ announce new summer signing as Edu plot £19.2m transfer exit
Despite falling behind in the pecking order in North London, there is still plenty of interest in Leno, and the emergence of new transfer talks could lead to a positive outcome for all parties involved. Benfica would have turned in circles, but Portuguese exit Correio de Manha reported that Arsenal’s asking price of £8.5m was too high, leading to claims it could be lowered in order to secure a deal.
However, Athleticism Now reports that newly-promoted Fulham are in talks to sign the goalkeeper. Leno is said to be their preferred option, and the player is believed to be keen on staying in London, but nothing has been agreed yet.
The good news for Arsenal is that Fulham won’t be short of money at the moment. Their promotion is said to have boosted finances, in addition to sales of Fabio Carvalho and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, who reportedly raised around £17m.
Arsenal’s reported £8.5million valuation for Bernd Leno may already seem low to some given his quality, but a move to Benfica for an even lower fee would have been less than ideal. Fulham, meanwhile, should have no problem matching that price.
Arteta and technical director Edu will be looking to develop fringe players over the coming months, with Hector Bellerin, Pablo Mari, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Nicolas Pepe all expected to leave. Despite this, there will be an understanding within the walls of London Colney that players’ selling fees may not generate meaningful amounts due to their contractual situations and roles at the club.
This means that efforts should be made to get the best deals possible, and stick to their guns when it comes to asking for prices. Matteo Guendouzi is set to complete a permanent transfer to Marseille worth around £10m, and if Arsenal get what they want for Leno, it will already be almost £20m.
With another busy summer expected in terms of income as well, the club will want to receive as much as possible in order to raise funds for further reinforcements, and Leno’s potential move to Fulham could help them do just that.