Sky Sports News is reporting that their sources are indicating that Arsenal is locked in advanced negotiations with Bayer Leverkusen keeper Bernd Leno, and the club is also among others in holding interest in Gelson Martins, who has filed to be released from his contract with Sporting CP.
While it makes sense that Arsenal is desperate to improve their goalkeeping situation, many are wondering why Leno’s their target this summer. He’s made more than a few high-profiled mistakes in the recent past, such as whiffing on a back pass in front of his net, and if there’s any club that needs to move away from keepers who toss the ball in their own goal, it’s probably Arsenal! There’s also the fact that Leno has under-performed his post-shot xG relative to actual goals conceded throughout his entire career at Leverkusen:
Bernd Leno.— Colin Trainor (@colintrainor) December 30, 2017
This was requested and I thought I'd put it up here as it's unusual to see a GK underperform their post shot xG for 6.5 seasons. Bigger under-performance though over the last 1.5 seasons. pic.twitter.com/SysbKwjdey
Not good, Bob!
Regardless, Arsenal are locked in negotiations with the German club over his transfer, and probably due to reasons stated above Leverkusen is not putting up much of a fight in retaining their number one keeper following their purchase of Eintract Frankfurt’s Lukas Hradecky.
Meanwhile, as a result of getting stomped by his own supporters (who may have been encouraged to do so by the president of the club!), Sporting CP’s Gelson Martins continues to be tracked by Arsenal, among other clubs, following his action to terminate his contract. Martins, a pacey winger that could easily slot into a side like Arsenal that’s crying out for someone of his skill set, was the subject of two rumored bids by the Gunners - both turned down - and along with teammates William Carvalho and Bruno Fernandes is looking for a way out of the mess in Lisbon.
Twists and turns still left to come, so keep tracking these pages as the transfer sagas continue on their ways.