Bernd Leno will be allowed to leave at the end of the season, but he’s likely to stay in January, according to a report.
ESPN report that a January exit for Bernd Leno is unlikely unless Arsenal can source another backup goalkeeper. However, Leno will be allowed to depart at the end of the campaign.
This follows a report from The Athletic a month ago that Arsenal don’t intend to allow Leno to leave the club in the January transfer window.
The German goalkeeper has reportedly responded well to his demotion to backup, maintaining a positive attitude.
As a result, the club are hoping he’ll continue to compete with Aaron Ramsdale throughout this season.
If Arsenal could bring in a long-term deputy to Ramsdale, then that would probably force their hand with the Leno situation. But otherwise, it’s no bad thing to have two strong goalkeepers at the club, particularly during the current Covid situation.
For Leno, the motivating factor behind a departure would be more regular game-time ahead of next year’s World Cup.
The goalkeeper has been a regular feature in his national team’s squads, but usually as the third choice.
That puts him on the brink, and the most likely to be replaced if anyone else has a good run of form while he sits on the bench for Arsenal.
We still have the summer transfer window to come before the World Cup, given the tournament’s delay to November 2022.
If things really aren’t working out for Leno at Arsenal by May, he could always then move on in the summer. He’d still have a few months to impress his national team with his new club.
But you can also understand why the 29-year-old might get impatient in the meantime.