Out-of-favour Arsenal man ‘in talks’ with Fulham as Cottagers eye first summer signing

Date published: Saturday 11th June 2022 3:25 - Jason Soutar

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno during a warm-up

Premier League new boys Fulham are reportedly in talks to sign Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno.

The German shot-stopper was the Gunners’ No. 1 between 2018 and 2021 but lost his place in between the sticks shortly after Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival last summer.

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He started his side’s first three games of the campaign, conceding nine goals as the Gunners failed to pick up a single point.

Leno only played one more league game, a 1-0 win at Aston Villa in March, picking up Arsenal’s final clean sheet of the 2021/22 season.

According to The Athletic, the 30-year-old is being targeted by Fulham.

The Cottagers are yet to make a signing since earning promotion from the Championship but have opened ‘talks’ over a deal for the Arsenal outcast.

Leno is thought to be one of many goalkeepers being considered by Marco Silva’s side, who will benefit from the German’s apparent desire to stay in London.

Marek Rodak and Paulo Gazzaniga shared goalkeeping duties for Fulham in their Championship title-winning campaign in 21/22.

Arsenal are thought to be open to letting Leno leave this summer having signed Matt Turner from New England Revolution; furthermore, young goalkeeper Karl Hein will step up to be Mikel Arteta’s third-choice goalkeeper.

Elsewhere, Stan Collymore has backed Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus to join Chelsea over the Gunners.

The ex-Liverpool man said: “There are rumours of Chelsea sniffing around and I don’t think Arsenal will be the only club in the race for him this summer.

“But let’s say Arsenal get him, my general worry and concern about Arsenal, as ever, is could we trust Mikel Arteta to get the best out of Jesus, could he be the manager who makes him fulfil his potential, if Pep Guardiola couldn’t? I don’t think so.

“But if he goes to Chelsea he could be the player Romelu Lukaku was promised to be but wasn’t. At Chelsea, they create loads of chances, they will stick the ball in the box and Jesus can be the fox in the box I’ve so often said they need. If Jesus just concentrated on doing some really good work in the box, he could be that man.”

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