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Transfer Rumors: Arsenal bid for GK Matt Turner, Bernd Leno Newcastle loan?

The two rumors seem to make sense together...

New York City FC v New England Revolution Photo by Andrew Katsampes/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Arsenal have made a “strong bid” for Matt Turner, goalkeeper for the New England Revolution and USMNT, according to Taylor Twellman. Tom Bogert reports that the deal would be 7M upfront, add-ons to approximately 10M, which is similar to what Manchester City paid for Zack Steffen.

For what it’s worth, there really could be something to this. Twellman, as one of ESPN’s lead MLS analysts and a former NE Rev player, is likely well-connected and in the know. He also doesn’t often break transfer rumor news, so my feeling is that if he’s reporting it, it’s solidly sourced.

Couple that with the goal.com report today that Newcastle are kicking the tires on a loan move for Bernd Leno and things start adding up. Leno wants out at Arsenal after losing his starting place to Aaron Ramsdale. Martin Dubravka, Newcastle’s #1 keeper, is dealing with a toe injury, and Eddie Howe was reportedly looking to bring in a keeper in the January transfer window anyway. Leno is younger and better than Dubravka, and the move would reportedly be a loan with an obligation to buy should Newcastle stay up.

I don’t have much of an opinion on either move beyond, “sure why not” in large part because backup keeper doesn’t really move the needle for me. It makes sense for Arsenal to get Leno’s #1 keeper wages off the books — Turner would undoubtedly come in on lower wages. It makes sense for Newcastle to get a Premier League-proven upgrade in goal for the relegation battle.

I don’t see how it makes much sense for Matt Turner, however. He’s the starting keeper for the team that was tops in the MLS regular season and should challenge for a title this year. He appeared in 13 of the USMNT 22 matches in 2021, the most of any keeper, and it’s a World Cup year. Why would he want to move to the Premier League to be a backup? That said, Zack Steffan is a backup at Manchester City and still gets called into the USMNT when the schedule permits.