Bernd Leno posted an amusing response to deny a story that he’d said his goodbyes at Arsenal, amid speculation around his future.
But Leno himself responded to the tweet, writing: “Breaking news: Bernd Leno joins Lewis Hamilton’s F1 Team. He was spotted yesterday in front [of] his box in Monaco. Your source is not the best mate.”
Leno’s reply is clearly a tongue-in-cheek denial of the initial claim, so perhaps he’s not quite out the door just yet.
Portuguese sources and the English tabloids have recently suggested 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.
Correio da Manha claim that Benfica head coach Roger Schmidt is pushing for the signing, but not at that price.
Even £8.5m 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.
The club sold Emi Martinez for more than twice that fee in 2020, so offloading Leno for even 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.”