Arsenal are believed to have moved closer to signing their primary goalkeeping target this summer, after Bayern Leverkusen’s signing of Eintracht Frankfurt’s ace Lukáš Hrádecký saw their current start Bernd Leno move down the pecking order.
According to the Mirror, Arsenal’s recruitment chief Sven Mislintat has identified the 26-year-old as the ideal replacement for the ageing Petr Čech, following a series of impressive seasons playing in the Bundesliga. Leno will travel to the World Cup with Germany this summer, but will face stiff competition for a starting spot from Manuel Neuer and Marc-André ter Stegen.
While Leno does appear to be close to a Leverkusen exit, it is still unclear where his destination will be. According to German outlet Kicker, the talented stopper’s representative has claimed that his client has a number of options on the table. Atlético Madrid, Napoli and Arsenal are all listed as potential destinations, with interest in the former VfB Stuttgart man set to be high.
Since joining Die Werkself in 2011, Leno has been his side’s leading goalkeeper, and has built a reputation as one of the most reliable stoppers in the German top tier. With just a Confederations Cup winner’s medal to his name, the 6ft 3′ keeper will be eager to develop his career further, and a big move to the Premier League could prove an appealing option.
Meanwhile, new Arsenal boss Unai Emery is believed to have already lined up his first signing for the club – Paris Saint-Germain’s midfielder Adrien Rabiot. The Frenchman was not named in his country’s World Cup squad, and could look to follow his former manager to the Premier League – should a tempting contract offer lure him away from his native Ligue 1.