Fulham’s interest in Bernd Leno is growing as it appears increasingly unlikely they’ll be able to land Alphonse Areola as an alternative.
The Evening Standard are the latest outlet to report that Fulham are interested in a move for Arsenal’s Bernd Leno this summer. The goalkeeper held talks with Edu before the end of the season and they agreed he could leave.
David Ornstein initially broke the news of the Fulham talks, with Sky Sports later confirming contact between the two clubs.
One thing to note in Ornstein’s report was that Leno was one of a list of options for Fulham. Though he’s their preferred candidate, they had alternatives lined up on a shortlist.
One of these options was seemingly Alphonse Areola of Paris Saint-Germain. Areola spent the 2020/21 campaign on loan with Fulham, before joining West Ham in another loan deal last season.
Fulham had looked at bringing him back following their promotion. But the Standard report that West Ham are the frontrunners to keep the goalkeeper instead.
That may well increase Fulham’s focus on Leno, with Arsenal open to selling after agreeing a deal to sign Matt Turner.
On the one hand, Arsenal would lose arguably the best backup goalkeeper in the Premier League in Leno, but that seems somewhat inevitable at this stage.
By staying in the Premier League, Leno would have to face Arsenal a couple of times a season, which is another negative.
But the upside is that Fulham might actually pay a reasonable fee – unlike any of the European clubs. Plus, whilst Leno playing against Arsenal is bad news, it’s balanced out by the fact Leno will face all the other big Premier League sides too.
If it’s what Leno wants, he’s always been a good professional for Arsenal and deserves a say in his next step.