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Benfica weigh up move for Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno

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By Martin Graham | 1st Jun 2022

According to recent reports, Benfica has expressed an interest in signing Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno who is valued at £8.5 million.

The German has been displaced by youngster Aaron Ramsdale who was signed to the club in the summer. The beginning of the end for him at Arsenal came after he suffered a long-term injury in the 2019/20 season which saw Argentine goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez deputise excellently for him.

He was unable to get back to his best form the season after which also contributed to Arsenal finishing in eighth place on the Premier League table.

Ramsdale was brought in to deputise and provide some competition but after another injury, he had officially lost his spot to the young Englishman who had taken the Premier League by storm in between the sticks for the Gunners.

This season, he played only four Premier League games as the Gunners bettered their eighth place finish from the previous season to finish in fifth place and get back into European competitions.

Following Leno’s inability to take back the number 1 spot from Ramsdale, the German shot-stopper is expected to leave Emirates in the summer to bring his four-year association with the club to an end.

Benfica has now emerged as a possible destination for the 30-year-old whose contract is due to expire next summer. It is also understood that both clubs have already begun negotiations for the former Bayer Leverkusen goalkeeper.

The Portuguese Primera Liga side, however, have reservations paying Arsenal’s asking price which has thrown a spanner into negotiations.

Arsenal already have Leno’s replacement

In January, the Gunners completed the signing of American goalkeeper Matt Turner from Major League Soccer (MLS) club New England Revolution.

The 27-year-old was sent back on loan to the MLS club and is now expected to join up with his new teammates in the coming weeks as they prepare for their pre-season activities.

The Gunners had reportedly been following him for four years before choosing to make the move on him. He will come in to provide Ramsdale with some competition, but he is initially signed to be the Englishman’s backup.

Turner spoke of his happiness at signing for the Gunners.and of his eagerness to work with Ramsdale. “I’m really excited to get to know Aaron Ramsdale,” Turner told the Major League Soccer YouTube channel.

“He has loads of experience throughout every top league in England and he’s had a great season. Speaking to him and getting to know him and developing that working relationship will be great, and then challenging him to become better and allowing him to help me to become better too.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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