Benfica are interested in Bernd Leno, but reports continue to emerge that they aren’t willing to pay Arsenal’s valuation.
The S*n report that Benfica are interested in a move for Bernd Leno this summer, but they’re quibbling over Arsenal’s £8.5m valuation for the goalkeeper.
This echoes claims from Portugal, with Correio da Manha reporting that Arsenal’s asking price of €10m (£8.45m) is reportedly complicating a potential deal.
The Portuguese outlet write that Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt is pushing for the signing, but not at that price.
That will be frustrating for Arsenal fans, as even €10m seems like it should be below his actual value. Leno only has a year left on his contract, but he’s a very good goalkeeper in his prime years.
Arsenal won’t be particularly reliant on Leno to generate funds for their summer business, given goalkeepers don’t tend to go for huge fees.
Yet the club sold Emi Martinez for more than twice that €10m fee in 2020, so offloading Leno for less than £8.5m seems silly.
Leno hasn’t had many chances to impress in recent months, but he did nothing to hurt his reputation by coming into the Arsenal side and keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa in March.
There should be plenty of interest in the goalkeeper if Benfica aren’t willing to pay.
Leno had been linked to former club Bayer Leverkusen among other Bundesliga sides and repeated reports of interest from Newcastle United. Yet he played down that talk in an April interview with Goal.
“Of course, there are always approaches,” Leno admitted. “But, it’s about playing here (at Arsenal). That’s my first ambition. If the club plans otherwise, they have to approach me. Of course, my agency and I are keeping an eye on the situation.
“I read that (talk of interest from Bayer Leverkusen) too, but I don’t know anything about it.
“They also said I would definitely want to return to my home country, but that’s not true. As I said, we feel completely at home here, even if things aren’t going so well for me at the moment.”